This is a random story I stumbled across while researching local history. It focuses on Carrock Mine (see photo above), which is located at Grainsgill Beck, near the village of Mosedale and a short distance from Carrock Fell in the North Lakes. I found it hilarious (and fascinating) so I thought I’d share it on my blog…

German “spy” mix-up in the fells

In 1917, amidst the grip of German spy mania, a geologist was sent by the Geological Survey to explore Carrock Mine for further tungsten – a rare metal that was used in armaments manufacture (aka vital to the country’s war effort). Due to the secret nature of his mission, he refused to explain to the locals what he was doing. They smelt a rat – or, more accurately, a German spy – and decided to take the law into their own hands. A posse of Cumbrians sneaked up on the innocent rock expert, “roughed him up a bit” and locked him in a school. Police cleared up the confusion the following morning – and Carrock Mine would never see such drama again.

I’ve written a longer article on the interesting history of Carrock Mine for the ace Discovering Britain website – check out the full version here.