The German mines at Caldbeck were part of the operations of the Company of Mines Royal in Caldbeck, which introduced German miners from modern day Austria and Bavaria into the Lake District in 1563, though earlier works in the area are thought to have been begun in the 1300s. The importance of the operation lies in its historical significance as the first large-scale copper mining and smelting operation in the British Islands which was well-documented. New smelting techniques were introduced which were allowed the treatment of argentiferous copper sulphide ores and the more complex lead-copper-silver ores from Caldbeck.
Mining started at Caldbeck in June 1566 but was soon discontinued and was not resumed until 1568, when work continued under the supervision of the Hochstetter family until around 1630, and then was not resumed until around 1695. The identity of the principal copper mines near Keswick and Coniston has long been known, but the locations of the Caldbeck mines have not. The lead-copper mines at Roughtengill have been considered to be the most probable candidates. However, recent fieldwork combined with records from archives has allowed identification of the principal mines.
- "Caldbeck Fells, Cumbria, England". Steetley Minerals. Peter Briscoe. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- Crosby, Alan (10 March 2016). "Lasting German links with mines of Keswick and Coniston". The Mail. CN Group. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
- The lost German mines at Caldbeck, by Richard Smith, Samuel Murphy and Warren Allison, Archaeology Data Service.
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