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Explosives magazine for Skelton Shaft iron mines

A Grade II Listed Building in Skelton and Brotton, Redcar and Cleveland

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Latitude: 54.5462 / 54°32'46"N

Longitude: -1.0146 / 1°0'52"W

OS Eastings: 463839

OS Northings: 517217

OS Grid: NZ638172

Mapcode National: GBR PHCW.43

Mapcode Global: WHF87.DZ2P

Entry Name: Explosives magazine for Skelton Shaft iron mines

Listing Date: 29 September 2014

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1420052

Location: Skelton and Brotton, Redcar and Cleveland, TS14

County: Redcar and Cleveland

Civil Parish: Skelton and Brotton

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Skelton with Upleatham All Saints

Church of England Diocese: York

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Late C19 explosives magazine.


Former explosives magazine, later 1860s or 1870s, for Bell Brothers' Skelton ironstone mines

MATERIALS: partially rendered red brick formerly with a Welsh slate roof.

DESCRIPTION: barrel vaulted structure that is buttressed at both ends which rise to form gables, with an additional pair of buttresses to the middle which support a central roof truss. The structure has a single entry sited in the eastern gable end. The brickwork was formerly rendered and covered in pitch, although this covering is now only partial. At the time of inspection, the roof structure was also fragmentary, with only some slates remaining and some rafters missing.


In 1858 three brothers (Isaac Lowthian, Thomas and John Bell) signed a lease with Mr Wharton of Skelton Castle to extract ironstone to supply their ironworks at Port Clarence on the north bank of the River Tees. This ironstone was the Cleveland Main Seam, which had been first exploited at Eston by Bolckow and Vaughan from the 1850s, with its wider exploitation prompting the rapid development of the Teeside iron industry, making Middlesbrough the centre of the world's iron market in the late C19. The Bell Brothers company was a leading player in the Cleveland iron industry, with their Skelton mines being their most significant undertakings. Skelton Shaft Mine was the first shaft (as opposed to horizontal drift) mine to be opened in the Cleveland field, first producing in 1862, averaging an output of 400-500 tons a day in 1863. However Skelton Shaft's output was generally less than the associated Skelton Park Pit which opened in 1870 just over 1km to the north east. Skelton Shaft Mine closed in 1923 shortly after Bell Brothers was completely bought out by the Dorman Long Company. It was reopened in 1930 to work out the ironstone left around the base of the shaft (the shaft protection pillar) finally closing in 1939.

The explosives magazine is sited around 300m north of the pit head, in a typically isolated position in case of accident. Located adjacent to a railway incline, it is thought to date to the later 1860s or 1870s and is shown on the first edition 1:2500 map of 1894.

Reasons for Listing

The Explosives Store at Skelton Shaft iron mine is listed at grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: as a well preserved example of a late C19 mine explosives store;
* Group value: with the Guibal fanhouse at Skelton Shaft and the well preserved listed buildings of the mine complex at Skelton Park to the north.

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