Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales
Lead production in the 18th and 19th Centuries
Throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries lead production reached a peak and
Miners rarely became wealthy. The precarious nature of prospecting meant that supplements to their income were needed and so most miners and their families also turned their hand to farming for food and even hand-knitting was used to generate extra income. The men often knitted on the long walks to and from the levels and smelting areas, so that time was not wasted.
By the turn of the 20th Century the Dales mines could no longer compete with cheaper imports, particularly from
Today the remains of the lead mining industry scar the landscape of most dales to some degree but they are particularly prominent in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale, Wensleydale and Wharfedale.
See where the Old Gang Smelt Mill still is»