The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

Boltifar Lead Mine, Warbeth

Along the shore at Warebeth, to the east of the Baltifour Burn, are the remains of a disused lead mine.
The mine was established around a fault line, which runs across the flagstones on the shore. The ore obtained was galena, which was extracted from the fissures and fractures within the rock.
The entrance to the mine was dug horizontally into the base of the cliff and it is thought this was used for access, exploration and to assist with the drainage.
Records state that the shaft turned north-west within the entrance, but that this has been filled in for safety. Near to this site is another shaft, which has also been blocked.

View of the shaft from the beach
In 1755 miners from England worked the lead mines and shipped a considerable quantity of ore. Operations began on the West Shore in 1762, but work did not continue for long, as extracting the ore was not profitable.

The whole area was around 30 metres wide and it looks as if some exploration has taken place along the coastal path. There were two buildings associated with the site, but these are no longer visible.    

 A large lump of rock found on the shore just below the mine     Two rocks containing lead ore; similar rocks are quite easy to find once you have located the mine

Today, little can be seen of this mine. The entrance was dug horizontally into the base of the cliff. Coastal erosion and the collapse of the cliff around the entrance makes this site very difficult to find.