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Lead Mining in the Yorkshire Dales
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The Ruins of Blakethwaite Lead Mill

On a summer´s day the Blakethwaite Mill in Gunnerside Gill is a popular picnic spot for walkers. The arched building is the old peat store (the arches allowing a draft to help dry the peat). High on the far hill can be seen the small opening of a small lime kiln. A collapsed bridge over the gill has now been replaced by a simple slab of limestone. The collapsed building in the centre of the picture was the mill. Since this photograph some consolidation of the structures has been carried out by the National Park - this has entailed bringing loads of materials by helicopter. The original miners had no such luxury and had a long 3 mile walk each day to work (and maybe a mile or two underground in the nearby levels). The moving of the smelted lead from such a remote location must have been back-breaking work.


Photograph © Carol Haynes