Cumbria

Coniston copper mine preserved with Lottery cash

Coniston Copper mine Image copyright Lake District National Park
Image caption Coniston workings cover 57 hectares (140 acres) of land above Coniston Water

A £450,000 Heritage Lottery grant has helped secure the future of a 400-year-old copper mine in Cumbria.

The Coniston workings are sited in the south west of the Lake District National Park, below Coniston Old Man and Penny Rigg Mill.

Lake District Park adviser, Eleanor Kingston, said volunteers were needed to help with conservation and archaeological survey work.

It would give people the chance to "connect with their heritage" she said.

Copper was mined at the scheduled monument until the 1950s.

'Fool's gold'

Over the next two years more than 150 repairs will be made and work carried out to stabilise structures.

Chalcopyrite, a copper iron sulphide often known as Fool's Gold, was used for 16th century weapons, coins and the hulls of ships.

German workers were brought to Coniston by Queen Elizabeth I to extract it.

At its peak in the 19th century the mine employed 600 people.

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