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Mining & Quarrying


Powder Tester


Powder testers were used to test the explosiveness of gunpowder before it was used for blasting in the mine.  This one was found close to a pathway that once lead to the Susannah vein of the lead mine workings at Leadhills.


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.

metal, lead
width 52mm, depth 42mm, height 15mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
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Dumfries & Galloway Council