- Last Updated: Sunday, 23 July 2017 18:42
- Written by Graham Brooks
Over a number of years I have organised and lead a number of guided walks in various parts of the North Pennines, for both the CIHS and CRA, to look at various mining remains and other industries in the area.
LORD CARLISLE’S RAILWAY.
This private railway associated with the various coal mines and other industries on the end of the north Pennines started in 1797 as a horse drawn tramway, and finished in the 1950s as a full size railway. The area breaks down into 3 suitable walks.
- 1)The early 1797 horse tramway. This walk starts at the RSPB car park outside Hallbankgate. It looks at the impressive limekilns at Foresthead its associated quarry and the shale quarry for the kirkhouse brickworks. The walk continues to the end of the original tramway and the route of the 1890s Gairs colliery railway. Then follows footpaths past the RSPB centre (toilets available) to bishop hill to look at whinstone quarry, the incline to the coal mines, limestone quarry and limekiln. We then move to the Tindale area to look at the remains at the Tindale Zinc Spelter and the railway to Midgeholme dating from the 1820s. Look at the remains of the village of Tindale built for the workers at the spelter. We then follow the railway past the Roachburn colliery loading area and also the site of Howard pit and its associated sidings. Finally Clowsgill quarry is passed with its water powered limekilns.
- 2)Starting at the same point, the RSPB car park near Hallbankgate this follows the line of the railway up to Gairs colliery high in Geltsdale with its buildings still surviving. We then walk through Geltsdale to look at the Greens lime works and Talkin colliery before arriving at Blacksyke Colliery with its remains of buildings including beehive coke ovens. Finally we look at the Foresthead quarry and limekilns as in walk one.
- 3)This is a walk along the line of the walk from Tindale to Featherstone Colliery sidings on the Haltwhistle to Alston branch. After looking at the remains of Tindale village and Spelter we pass the sites of Prior, Whitecuts, Midgeholme, Hartleyburn and Lambley collieries looking at the various remains at these sites that were worked from the early 19th century through to the 1950s in some cases. We then pass through Lambley to look at and cross the impressive Lambley viaduct before looking at the remains of coanwood colliery and station
This is a walk up the Pennine escarpment to the top of Hartside and backdown looking at the industry in the area. This includes lime quarries and kilns, early roads, 20th century barytes mining and 19th century lead and coal mining. With the Hartside Café at the half way point it makes a nice break. This is an area not very frequently visited y most people.
This is a walk up the valley to look at the remains of the lead and barytes mining from the 18th to 20th century. This valley is part of the Warcop army ranges and is only accessible on certain weekends each year.
This walk follows the south Tyne from outside Garrigill to its source along paths and roads. It looks at the various lead mining remains in the valley and also some of the remains of the agriculture in the area as well as some of the geology including the whinsill.
GREENHURTH AREA TEESDALE
This walk mainly along tracks looks at the lead mining remains including the use of water to power pumps with an impressive waterwheel pit. Greenhurth mine has significant remains of its lead ore dressing floor. We then continue down the valley towards Cow Green reservoir to look at the remains of the barytes mines there.
ASHGILL HEAD TEESDALE
This walk is on the opposite side of Herdship Fell to the above walk. This walk again views the various lead mines including Lady Rake mine with its unique water balance system for drawing the tubs up the shaft.
Walks in other parts of the county to view the various industrial remains can be organised.