A classic, old-time and showy English specimen of discrete and clustered Campylite crystals on superbly contrasting oxide-coated Quartz matrix. Campylite is the old English name for barrel-shaped Mimetite crystals. The gemmy to opaque, yellow-orange crystals are very lustrous, sharp and well terminated as well. Campylites of this quality are from the famous Dry Gill Mine at Caldbeck Fells and probably date from the 1970s. Although Campylite specimens from Dry Gill are recorded from at least 1830 there is no record of commercial ore mining here until a lease was taken by Hugh Lee Pattinson, inventor of a cupellation process for the desilvering of lead. Pattinson began work in 1846, driving an adit on the vein where it crosses Dry Gill beck near the foot of the gill. He raised a few hundred tons of "colored lead ore" but gave up the work in the 1850´s. The property was subsequently tried by various operators, none of whom had much success. The mine was last worked in 1869.
The finest Campylite specimens were collected in the 19th century but, although increasingly hard to find, some fine material has been obtained since, particularly in the 1970´s. However, the mine is notoriously unstable, cold and wet, and there have been a number of accidents involving collectors. No one has been critically injured but the incidents have highlighted the dangers of the old workings in the Caldbeck Fells." (mindat)