Coniston copper mine

Coniston Copper

We are working to protect the Coniston copper mine siteWe are very pleased to announce that the Coniston Copper project has received a £455,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). 

It's a hugely exciting time for everyone who cares about the scheduled monument. Its incredible history includes the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I.

The project will take place over the next two years, with work beginning on site in June. It will focus on conserving over 150 items of repair, stabilisation and reconstruction across ten different structures at the two sites. Without this project this important heritage is at risk.

The project is a partnership between Lake District National Park, land owners, Grizedale Arts, YHA Coniston, Ruskin Museum and Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society.

Not only will this give us a unique chance to preserve an exceptional mining heritage, it also provides opportunities for people to find out more and really get involved.

The history of mining in Coniston

Spreading across a spectacular 57 hectare site above Coniston Water and below the famed 803m Old Man mountain, the mines have a long legacy.

Copper extraction dates back 400 years and was a firm favourite of Queen Elizabeth. In the 16th century, she introduced German workers and its fortunes flourished.

The mineral was important to emerging industries of a growing Empire. It sheathed ships' hulls as they sailed the seven seas, was used in weaponry, for coinage and by the navy.

Although there were peaks and troughs in the market, Coniston copper continued to be mined until the 1950s.

Despite the magnitude of their industrial importance, they are at risk of continuing decline and dereliction. If successful, our HLF grant will allow us to consolidate, stabilise and conserve a number of key elements.

Get involved - Conservation volunteering

Learn new skills and help conserve Coniston’s copper-mining heritage

Would you like to learn about Coniston’s copper-mining heritage while enjoying the rare opportunity to repair and rebuild its physical remains? We have stone-walling and lime mortar courses available:

Dry-stone Walling Project – Learn dry-stone walling techniques.
Monday 4 to Friday 8 September 2017
From 10 am-4 pm each day.

Lime Work Project - Learn to prepare and apply lime and lime mortar.
Monday 3 to Friday 7 July 2017 or Monday 11 to Friday 15 September 2017
From 10 am-4 pm each day.

Only 14 places are available each week so please book early to avoid disappointment. Please note that due to the nature of the training involved you will be expected to volunteer for a whole week, and that a reasonable level of fitness is required. All the necessary training and equipment will be provided.

Grants are available to help towards accommodation and other expenses.

To enquire and book email: or telephone: 01524 65206 / 07761441025.

Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fun