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Mining & Quarrying


Lead Mines at Wanlockhead belonging to his Grace the Duke of Queensberry

18th Century

Pen and ink wash by John Clerk, Lord Eldin (1728 - 1812).  This drawing shows leadmines at Wanlockhead belonging to his Grace the Duke of Queensberry.  The top of the Lowther Hills can be seen in the background.


John Clerk was a noted amateur artist, making drawings and etchings of scenes around Edinburgh and Southern Scotland.


There is evidence of mining for lead ore or galena around Wanlockhead and Leadhills in the Lowther Hills since the Middle Ages. At that time lead was being exported to Holland and Belgium for use in the production of lead glazed pottery. This area, rich in both lead and precious metals, developed into the centre of the Scottish lead mining industry.


More lead mines were opened across the region from the late 18th to the mid 19th Centuries, at Woodhead near Carsphairn, East and West Blackcraig, near Newton Stewart, and Lackentyre and Kingslaggen, near Gatehouse of Fleet. The lead mines of Dumfriesshire and Galloway were the source of almost all Scottish lead production.

ink and wash, on paper
length 230mm, width 360mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council