DescriptionDriving on the A686 between the A69 at Haydon Bridge and Penrith,.on this occasion I detoured via Hexham and saw this striking feature on its own by the side of the road. This 30 metre high chimney is on its own on a little hill by the side of the road, in open country with no other sign of 19th century heavy industry. There's a reason for that. The lead mill at Langley was built in 1768, but the problem of its lethal fumes led to a succession of engineering solutions. Between 1801 and 1859, a horizontal flue was built, eventually leading to this chimney a kilometre away across country. The heavy metals would condense out of the fumes onto the cold walls of the flue. This was not entirely altruistic: the surge in the price of lead, due to the napoleonic wars, made all this work self-financing, as the condensed lead and silver were periodically scraped off the walls. With the associated lead works, it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade II Listed Building. Also listed for a further explore on my next drive-by.
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Added by: Simon Cotterill
Last modified: 7 years ago
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