Silver Bowl
Hudgill Burn Lead Mine Silver Bowl
Source: Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum.
Copyright: Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum.

Detail of Silver Bowl
Hudgill Burn Lead Mine Silver Bowl Inscription
Source: Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum.
Copyright: Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum.

Eastgate Roman Altar
Original Location: Nenthall(?)
Current Location: Killhope, North of England Mining Museum
Theme: Industrial, Cultural/Social
Period: Post-medieval
Date: c.1823

What is it?
The Hudgill Burn Lead Mine Silver Bowl is a decorated, silver bowl with handle. It has an inscription on the rim, ‘Produce of Hudgill Burn Mine 1823’ and scratched onto the base is, ‘JW No 17’.

What is its relevance to the North Pennines?
This bowl was manufactured from North Pennine silver, specifically from Hudgill Burn lead mine.

Why is it important?
It is a rare object. When the Friends of Killhope purchased this bowl for Killhope Lead Mining Museum in 2011, there were only three other items, all snuff boxes, known to be made from Hudgill Burn silver. Indeed there are no other extant silverware items which can definitely be identified as having been made from North Pennines silver. No other North Pennines silverware piece is on display in any museum anywhere.

Tiny amounts of silver are found in galena (lead ore), the average for the North Pennines being only 4 – 8 ounces of silver per ton of lead metal. Hudgill Burn lead mine was legendary in the nineteenth century. The story goes that the mine was about to be abandoned as hopeless but, without pay, the miners continued to search for a decent vein for a few weeks longer. Amazingly they discovered one of the best deposits of lead ore in the North Pennines. It created a great deal of wealth for its owners, amongst them two brothers named Joseph and Jacob Wilson. The inscription ‘JW No 17’ suggests this bowl was commissioned by one of these men and is one of a set of at least seventeen items. The hallmarks show that it is Britannia silver – the purest form. It was made by two of the finest silversmiths in the North East – Christian Ker Reid and David Reid of Newcastle.

Further Information

    Text References:
  • Friends Get Silver, The Friends of Killhope Newsletter 78, 1-2
  • Young, B. (2011) North Pennine Silver – A Conundrum Revisited, The Friends of Newsletter 78, 3-7.
  • Forbes, I. (2001) Hudgill Dish Reveals Rich Seam of Mining History, North Pennine News Autumn Winter 2011-12.

  • External Links:
  • Killhope – The North of England Lead Mining Museum
    http://www.killhope.org.uk
  • Friends of Killhope
    http://www.friendsofkillhope.org/

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