Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Stoneycroft Ghyll: Present & Past

We were back in Stoneycroft Ghyll again yesterday, we've been there quite a lot this year!

Yesterday we entered the ghyll at the traditional starting point of the metal plate and did everything, including the so called "canyoning" section, right down to the road bridge. It was a great day out with a great group of folk, some of whom we've got to know very well over the years & have become good friends. I always enjoy Stoneycroft and in particular the less well traveled section from the normal get out down to the road. The pictures below give a taste of what can be experienced there.

As is the norm the ghyll was busy, I couldn't begin to estimate the number of people that must descend it each year? 

Walking past the various mining remains that can still be clearly observed I reflected on how few of those who visit would believe the industrial heritage of the now "idyllic" Stoneycroft Ghyll. Ian Tyler suggests that Stoneycroft Mine: "... is perhaps one of the most important mine sites in the county; it is still shrouded in mystery and a site worthy of a visit..." The ghyll was first mined in what I would refer to as its lower reaches, near to the bridge, for lead by the early German miners. Around 1680 the engineer David Davies sank an engine shaft in the stream bed, however, the elements prevailed and heavy rains burst the dams he created tragically drowning the miners downstream. Mining did not  re-commence until the mid-1800's; a 22' water wheel was constructed amidst extensive engineering. The project did not last and mining ceased again after less than ten years. There is more on this in the excellent: "The Lakes & Cumbria Mines Guide" by Ian Tyler.

Its hard to imagine Stoneycroft as a hive of industry today, to an extent & unlike Snowdonia I feel the present perception of the Lake District is somewhat blinkered to its relatively recent alternative past... a good thing or a bad thing?

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