Kilton Ironstone Mine

Most of the ironstone mines in North Yorkshire and the Cleveland area were drift mines. The mines were driven horizontally into the hillside with all the spoil being dumped further down the slope. At Kilton shafts had to be sunk to reach the ironstone seam 694 feet below; the task taking three years to complete. The spoil here was heaped into a large pile which still dominates the local area. A bing is the Scottish name for a spoil heap. I couldn’t resist climbing to the top of the Kilton bing. The mine closed in 1963.

The view is due south. Freeborough hill can just be made out right of centre and immediately below are the remains of the engine house and some other mine buildings. The area has been designated as a nature reserve. I disturbed a deer and tried to photograph a blue butterfly which I think was a Common Blue but it was much too flightly for me. The bing itself shows little sign of reclamation by nature. Hawkweed seems to be the only plant so far that has taken a foothold displaying a crop of pretty yellow flowers at the moment.


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