Saturday, 24 October 2015

Smelt mill chimney


These days, the fells of the Yorkshire Dales seem vast, open and sparsely populated, home only to sheep and curlews. It makes them very attractive to walkers and photographers. Indeed, the Pennine Way long-distance footpath skirts Malham Tarn. But - in plain sight, as it were - the history of the area is there to be read. You might think this pile of stones is some sort of cairn, like those you often see placed by walkers beside mountain paths. In fact it is a mill chimney. Lead, copper and other minerals were mined in the area during the 18th century. The metal ore was crushed and then processed in a smelt mill. A long flue led from the mill to this chimney, where the toxic fumes were dispersed.  The 'feel' of the area must have been vastly different in those days.

5 comments:

  1. So we have been polluting the air for a long time. Nice to see the history kept.

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  2. Very interesting...and makes a beautiful photo...I love the stone work.

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  3. I have it in mind that one of these days I would like to walk across England, maybe from the Lakes District to the North Sea.

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  4. My hubby walked the Yorkshire Dales many years ago when he was studying in Leeds, he would do it again in a flash, he loved it! Beautiful image Jenny.

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