Sunday, 2nd December 2012

Walk: Dales Way & Grassington Lead mines
Start Point: Conistone Grid Reference: SD 979 674
Distance: 12 miles Ascent: 1,800 feet
Time: 6.5 hours    
Weather: Fabulous. Despite a forecast of -7 deg, it was not particularly cold. This was due to the sky being cloudless allowing the sun to keep us warm.
Comments: Starting from Conistone we made our way along paths to the Dales Way which we followed to Grassington. From Grassington we turned north east for the Grassington Lead Mines. A full inspection of the mining area was made, including the smelt mill site , the chimney and its flues. Leaving the mines behind we followed various paths through moorland, limestone paving etc before returning to Conistone down a limestone gill. Due to the heavy frost overnight, the ground was frozen ensuring that we returned to the cars with dry boots, a first for weeks.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Kilnsey Crag from Conistone Bridge . . .

 

and again as we leave Conistone

 

Heading for the Dales Way

 

A 150 year old lime kiln on the Dales Way . . .

 

with information tablet

 

Unusual horse jump built into the wall

 

Skirting above . . .

 

Grassington

 

We climb back onto the moor heading for the chimney in the distance . . .

 

reaching a track which will take us to the mystery chimney in the middle of nowhere!!

 

Tony, Jenny and Phil in the mining area with the old mine managers house in the background

 

The chimney is still some distance away

 

Eventually all is revealed . . .

 

as we enter the ruins of the smelt mill

 

The tunnel in the picture is the flue which took the fumes up the chimney (just visible to the right)

 

No Tony that is not our way . . .

 

nor this

 

The group follows the course of the flue

 

Not happy with the above ground route Ian considers the flue . . .

 

and contemplates what it was like to clean the lead particles out by hand
(not much health and safety in those days)

 

As we get closer . . .

 

the size of the chimney becomes more evident

 

Looking up the outside . . .

 

and the inside

 

Ian looking up the chimney with the flue from the smelt mill to the rear

 

The top reservoir used to drive some of the machinery

 

The remains of spoil heaps are evidence of the vast amount of material moved

 

All that remains of the pit that housed the 14 metre diameter water wheel

 

Before leaving the mining area we stop for lunch, Tony appears to be deep in thought

 

Continuing along the track we leave the chimney which now serves as a landmark
and monument to the industry that once existed here

 

As we head down to rejoin the Dales Way once more . . .

 

and make the final descent . . .

 

down into the gill . . .

 

to walk through Bull Scar . . .

 

joining the icy path back to Conistone

Return to 2012 Diary                                                                                              Return to top