The mine manager’s records

From 1778 until 1787, the Blackcraig mine's manager, William Mure, sent reports to one of the partners, George Clerk. These records provide an insight in to the running of the mine.

By the 1770s, the mine was in full operation. This site was easily accessible, close to the coast and the military road. The mine could obtain supplies without difficulty and transport lead to London to sell.

This was excellent for business, as good communications gave it an advantage over other Scottish lead mines located in more remote areas, such as Corrantee and Tyndrum.

The mine in operation

By 1780, 44 men worked at Blackcraig mines; this included 25 miners and seven men who smelted the ore to remove impurities from the lead.  Business was going well.

The company sold lead in bars. Buyers would then turn the lead into a product, for example, lead piping. In 1780, however, the company built a shot mill in nearby Creetown to make their own product to sell - lead gun shot.

In 1783, the shot mill made a profit of £249; the mine, however, started to make a loss. Cost-cutting measures and the rising price of lead, however, kept it going for a while longer.

There were plans to build a better smelting furnace, designed by Robert Scott, but it is unlikely that this happened.  At some point in the 1790s, Craigtown Mining Company stopped mining operations.