Swaledale Museum

MUSEUM TALKS

All lectures will be held in the Swaledale Museum in Reeth DL11 6TX at 7.30 pm (unless indicated below). 
As space is limited to 40 and we anticipate great interest we recommend booking in advance 
by e-mailing helen@swaledalemuseum.org  or calling 01748 884118 or 07969 823232

Friends of the Museum £4.00. Visitors £5.00. All welcome

Please watch the local press for occasional alterations to time/date & posters and, if coming from a distance, please check with the Museum first. 

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Saturday 14th August 10.00 am

LEAD SMELTING, CHERT MINING, WATER UTILIZATION & CORN MILLING IN ARKENGARTHDALE

An all-day field trip (with afternoon-only option)

We are pleased to announce that Richard Lamb will be leading a day long field trip in Arkengarthdale on Saturday 14th August, looking at lead smelting, chert mining, water utilization & corn milling.

Richard is well known to the Museum. He regularly helps survey sites for Ed Denison Archaeology, including many in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, has published extensively on lead smelting and has given several erudite lectures to the Friends of Swaledale Museum, as well as leading very popular tours of Grinton and Marrick in the past.

The day has been divided into two for good reason. The morning will involve uphill walking on Mouldside to examine the remains of the chert industry including the loading bay, the railway with its engine shed and brake house, the smithy and areas of extraction, from where we will be able to see the nearby hushes and relics of lead mining, plus some stupendous views across the valley. Then it’s downhill all the way, examining the construction of the flue and its branches, several watercourses, and the CB or New Mill situated by the roadside. There is still much to see and interpret including the wheelpit and supports for the base of a blowing cylinder, with some standing structures and large slag heap. Hopefully, we will also be able to have a look inside the CB Yard (see photo) and learn something of its history thanks to Helen Bainbridge. Within the Yard, a water-powered saw mill, connected to the Octagon Mill via a tramway, once operated, being supplied with water via a launder which ran alongside the wall adjacent to the present footpath.

Around 1.30pm, after lunch, the tour becomes much easier and by kind permission of Mr Douglas Barningham we will investigate the field in which that great edifice, the Octagon Mill (see photo of model), once stood. Don’t be fooled by appearances, there is plenty to see here albeit as earthworks surveyed by Ed Dennison Archaeological Services Ltd. in 2012: numerous buildings including the upstanding remains of the peat house, flues, watercourses, tracks, mining spoil from Smelt Mill level and a possible tramway leading to a large slag heap. A visit to the Powder House is the nearest we can get to the magnificence of the unique structure built for smelting lead. Finally, a short walk passing New Houses to investigate the exploitation of water power including leats and dams, namely the Corn Mill which we shall also have chance to examine, building work permitting, thanks to the kindness of Alison Piet.

There is thus the opportunity to join the party just before lunch to see the CB Mill if uphill walking doesn’t suit you.

The day begins at 10am, meeting at the CB Yard not far from the road junction to Barnard Castle. Participation is at your own risk and we will be walking on some fairly rough terrain at times so please wear appropriate clothes and boots, and bring a packed lunch which may be left in your car. A handout in electronic format will be sent to you prior to the event providing some background information with detailed maps, photographs and plans, etc.

The party size is limited to 25 so booking is essential. The cost per person is £15 for Friends of the Museum, £20 for others (or £12 for the afternoon only) payable in advance. You will be notified beforehand should there be an adverse weather forecast resulting in postponement.

To book, contact the Museum directly at helen@swaledalemuseum.org or phone 07969 823232 and remember to let us know if you would like to come for the whole day or just the afternoon.

CB Yard Octagon Mill
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