The Vieille Montagne
Zinc Mining Company Of Belgium

This web site brings historians, genealogists and researchers from around Europe together into a co-operative project that will investigate the history of the Vieille Montagne and its workers. A ‘branch’ of VM researchers will be set up in whichever country there is an interest, each with its own web page, hence this one, Vieille Montagne History (GB), to start with.
In 1896 The Vieille Montagne brought the outside world to this distant part of Cumbria, or Cumberland as it then was, turning it into a focus of international attention, which is hard to believe nowadays when one looks at the village. The company brought huge financial investment, new revolutionary technology, and a foreign workforce from places that locals had only seen in a school atlas.
Rampgill Zinc Mill
The four main nationalities who worked the mines were English, Belgians, Germans and Italians. As well as these, an English company clerk recalled that in the streets of Nenthead at one time there could be heard Dutch, French, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish being spoken, and in 1911 there was a solitary Hungarian – an electrician.

The opportunities across Europe for VM-related investigation, such as
research into the economic and mining activities of the company, the social effects upon local communities in each country, and family history research into the multi-national workforce, are almost limitless. And, not to be forgotten, is the place of origin of the Vieille Montagne, the small, formerly neutral territory of Moresnet which is now part of Belgium.

Willingness and enthusiasm for the project is evident and has been expressed among the mining fraternity in Britain, Belgium, Germany and Italy, but this is only a small part of what could even be a world-wide project, the Vieille Montagne had branches and associated companies in Algeria, France, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia and the United States.
Foreigners in the Hills

The Foreigners in the Hills

If you are interested in reading more about the story of the Vieille Montagne in Nenthead, Cumbria, read ‘The Foreigners in the Hills’ by Alastair F. Robertson, available on line or from the author at Ashleigh House, Nenthead Road, ALSTON, Cumbria, CA9 3SN, for £11.50 to include p&p.
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About Us
The Vieille Montagne brings historians, genealogists and researchers from around Europe together into a co-operative project investigating the history of the Vieille Montagne and its workers.
The
Vieille
Montagne
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LOCATION
Nenthead, Cumbria
Vieille Montagne History