The Company of Mines Royal - Background

Entrance to Goldscope Mine, Newlands Valley

When copper ore was discovered in the Newlands Valley in the 1560s in Queen Elizabeth’s reign, there was no-one in England capable of extracting the metal from it, so a Bavarian, Daniel Hochstetter was brought over by the Company of Mines Royal, to mine and smelt the ore. the miners were usually referred to as 'Germans' or 'Dutch'. For a time Daniel and his wife lived on Derwent Isle - and it is said his descendants still live in the Keswick area.    

The main mine was known as Goldscope (see photo) - a corruption of 'Gottes Gab' (God's Gift).

See M. B, Donald, Elizabethan Copper: The History of the Company of Mines Royal 1568-1605 (Red Earth Publications, 1994)

See also Ian Tyler: Goldscope and the Mines of Derwent Fells, (Blue Rock Publications, 2005) 

Text by Bill Shannon, photo Geograph Images, Trebor Harris