Saturday, 21 March 2015

Lead mining in Swaledale

You can read more about the history of lead mining in Swaledale in this Sometimes Interesting article (fantastically interesting site, despite the name!).

Smelt mill at Grinton.

Smelt mill, with the peat drying house in the background, and heading up Sharrow hill is the flue. The chimney has been demolished.

Where the water wheel would have stood, powering the bellows.

Interested visitors looking at the information board.

Where one of the two furnaces stood.

Level below Grinton smelt mill, with water flowing out.

Smelt mill at Surrender Bridge.

Looking towards Old Gang smelt mill.

On the left can be seen the spoil heaps where debris taken from the mines was dumped.

This tunnel was where the flue began its ascent up the hillside.

Old timber.

Ironwork is still in remarkably good condition.

These hoppers have been rotting since the late 19th century.

In this photo, a hush can be seen in the top left, a level in the lower left driven in to work the ore, and in top right can be seen the peat drying stacks.

The interior of the level.

The peat drying stacks.

Peat drying stacks on the left, and Old Gang mill on the right.

On the desolate hills between Old Gang and Gunnerside Gill still sits an abandoned stone crushing machine.

The fine spoil shows it did its job well. The ground, made up of fine particles, can be surprisingly slushy in wet weather.

A small level still visible on the side of Gunnerside Gill.

Blakethwaite smellt mill, in Gunnerside Gill.

The buildings outside Bunton level, in Gunnerside Gill.

The entrance to Bunton level.

Looking inside Bunton level.

Walking back over the tops to Old Gang mines.

Night falls on the mines.