Located on the northwest margin of the village of Wanlockhead, the Beam Engine was built in 1875. It is a fine example of a 19th century wooden water balance pump that was used to drain water from the Straitsteps Lead Mine nearby. Used until 1945, it was restored by Historic Scotland and now forms part of the Museum of Scottish Lead Mining, run by the Wanlockhead Museum Trust.

High in the Lowther Hills to the west of the M74 in Dumfries and Galloway, Wanlockhead is Scotland’s highest village at 467m (1531 ft). It owes its existence to the lead, gold and other minerals found under the surrounding countryside.

These mineral deposits were probably first exploited by the Romans and from the 1200s they were being worked again by groups of miners who gathered here each summer. The first permanent settlement appeared in about 1680, when the Duke of Buccleuch built a lead smelting plant and workers’ cottages that could be occupied all year round.

Although lead was for many centuries the mainstay of the village’s economy, it was not the only mineral found here. What became known as “God’s Treasure House” also produced zinc, copper, silver and gold. Some of the world’s purest gold, at 22.8 carats, was found locally and used in the Regalia of the Scottish Crown.

Today’s Wanlockhead depends primarily on tourism. The Southern Upland Way long distance footpath passes through the village, but the main attraction for the motoring tourist revolves around the village’s industrial past.

Information from Undiscovered Scotland.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Canon 18-55mm IS lens


Three bracketed JPGs converted to HDR in Photomatix.

Related shots can be found at: Wanlockhead and Lowland Scotland.


dumfries and galloway, hdr, lowland, mining, scotland, scottish, village, wanlockhead

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  • imagic
    imagicover 4 years ago

    Great nice clean shot Tom, superb view, good composition, well seen and captured.

  • Thank you Jens, so pleased you like it …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Barry Norton
    Barry Nortonover 4 years ago

    Wonderful shot Tom and great info

  • Thank you kindly Barry …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Brenda Dow
    Brenda Dowover 4 years ago

    Unfamiliar to me Tom but a great read !! Interesting image to ponder the working of this obviously important mechanism!!!! And the tourists must love all the history!!!!

  • Thank you Brenda, it is a lovely village, check out my other shots here.

    The other claim to fame for the village is that they used the village to film a TV comedy-drama called Hope Springs

    – Tom Gomez

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderover 4 years ago

    Great description and lovely photo. I like the angle of this looking down rather than up at the engine

  • Thank you so much Mik, glad you like it …

    – Tom Gomez

  • BCImages
    BCImagesover 4 years ago

    this is excellent work

  • It is a great area for photography Steve, well worth a visit next time you venture over the border …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Alex Gardiner
    Alex Gardinerover 4 years ago

    You live and learn! Thanks Tom for another scottish memory.
    The Ald Yin.

  • Thank you Alex, you are very welcome …

    – Tom Gomez

  • David Smith
    David Smithover 4 years ago

    Another area that we have never heard of Tom,it has a tremendous history well taken another place to go on the must visit list.Regards Dave.

  • Thank you Dave, it is well worth the visit …

    – Tom Gomez

  • foppe47
    foppe47over 4 years ago

    So special Tom

  • Thank you kindly Foppe …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Valerie Anne Kelly
    Valerie Anne K...over 4 years ago

    A beautiful capture sweetheART lovely tones ;} happy hippy hugglez

  • Thank you so much Val …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 4 years ago

    great work Tom, lovely editing, a fave for me.x

  • Thank you Catherine, always appreciated …

    – Tom Gomez

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