Grinton and Cobscar Smelt Mills 28 July 2016
Grinton and Cobscar Smelt Mills: SOC Thursday Walk, 28 July
Rumours of a heat wave proving to be greatly exaggerated, eleven walkers set off on a grey, misty morning from our parking place on the road below Grinton Smelt Mill to explore the mining landscape of the area. Having examined the well-preserved remains of Grinton Mill we headed south along a well-marked track, gradually deteriorating to the faintest of footpaths but leading us to the watershed at Snowdon Man. From there we continued over moorland terrain dotted with dozens of old coal pits and lead mine shafts, across the heavily worked ravine of Cranehow Bottom (a rich lead mining field) and then by shooter’s tracks to reach Cobscar smelt mill, its landmark chimney and the remains of the longest smelt mill flue in the Dales (it formerly ran up from Keld Heads smelt mill near Preston-under-Scar to Cobscar chimney, a distance of nearly two miles).
After exploring the remains of Cobscar Mill, we continued westwards to the Bolton-Grinton road and then diverted off onto the track leading up Apedale as far as the bridleway junction at Dent’s Houses where we turned north up the gentle incline to our high point of the day at Height of Greets (511m/1,675ft). We found this usually deserted spot crowded with four-by-fours and their occupants, congregated for a gun-dog trial so did not linger, pressing on to cross the Bolton-Grinton road once more then, across more lead mining territory, down Ridley Hush, past the Grinton Mill again and so back to our start point (8miles). Most of the party then adjourned for a well earned drink and snack at the Fremington Bike Centre, a pleasant end to an (I hope) enjoyable day.