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Bolton Park Mine

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Bolton Park Mine, dressing floor - reconstruction

© YDNPA, 2004,

Bolton Park Mine, dressing floor - reconstruction

© YDNPA, 2004,


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Bolton Park Mine

Historical Environment Record No: MYD17407

Parish: Castle Bolton

OS Grid Reference: SE031930

Dale: Lower Wensleydale

Link to Archaeology Data Service:
http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/collections/blurbs/420.cfm

Description

In the mid-19th century, Bolton Park Mine was one of many lead mines developed in the area. It was sited on part of a deer park surrounding Bolton Castle. A series of horizontal tunnels (‘levels’) were driven into the hillside to reach the minerals in the Cobscar vein. Around 1400 tons of lead were produced between 1856 and 1872 and many of the remaining structures on the site date from this period. The mine closed in 1871 and much of the machinery was taken to be used in Arkengarthdale.

Ore bearing rock was carried out of Level No 3 on a tramway to a series of bouse teams (stone lined storage bins) where it was washed and sorted. It was then crushed by hand and between water-powered rollers, and further sorting and sieving took place on teo dressing floors. The lead concentrate was then transported to nearby mills where molten lead was extracted by smelting. This site also contains two settling ponds which allowed more lead concentrate to be obtained from the waste ‘slimes’ and water. A two-storey building on the site was used as an office, shelter for the workers and for stores. Water was a crucial part of the dressing process and the remains of a reservoir, sluices and leats can also be seen on the site.

Location

The footpath starts from a point 90 metres from the north east corner of the castle in Castle Bolton where a track leads off the north side of the green between two houses, signed to Grinton (there is a tap built into the garden wall on the left). The track becomes a narrow lane and climbs quite steeply up towards the moor. A metal gate is reached after 250 metres, all of it uphill. Once through the gate cross the stream on the bridge, head diagonally, on the level at first, across the moor and towards the top side of the wood: by the time you get there you will be climbing again. Keep close to the wall until you reach the point where it turns to the west. A second wall can now be seen about 100 metres over towards the west and the path gradually gets closer to it as you climb. After a 150 metres you come to a wire fence. Do not go through the gate look to the west instead and you will see a gate through the wall; this is the entrance to the mine site. Interpretation panels.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Castle Bolton. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.

Accessibility

Not an easy walk. The path can be steep and there is surface water on the hillside over much of the climb. In one place the path is covered by a great number of large loose stones, making walking difficult. With the agreement of the landowner, trail bikes use this part of the moor and as a consequence the ground can be deeply rutted.

Access to the actual mine site is by a squeeze stile with a step. Much of the site is running with water in wet weather. In places rabbit holes near to the surface have collapsed leaving channels across the path.

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