Remnants of Swaledale's industrial past

Usha Gap, backblip 4

A walk by Old Gang Beck to the remains of the Old Gang Smelting Mill, one of the best preserved lead mining complexes in the Pennines. Covering an extensive area, it was constructed in the 1840s to replace an earlier mill on the site. Production declined dramatically after 1885. Ruined buildings, old shafts, and tunnels all over the place.

We continued on past the entrance to two tunnels - deep and dangerous (extras) - apparently the tunnels of Brandy Bottle Incline, intended to be used to bring ore up from deep below using steam engines, but the engines never arrived.

Finally up to the moonscape summit of Great Pinseat, quite indistinct among heaps of mining spoil. Stunning view across to the North York Moors though. Then a walk back down an easy track to the van. A lovely walk, not particularly arduous or long (about 9.5km), but it seemed hard work today in unremitting scorching sunshine!

Back to the campsite via Leyburn to cool down with an ice cream and to buy some essential supplies. 

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