Arkengarthdale – NY 996034
The lessors’ new smelt mill was called the New or CB mill, and the confusion over the chronology of the Octagon mill has also affected the interpretation of its history. According to Jennings it was built by Easterby Hall, and remodelled around 1824. Clough repeated the foregoing, but Dr Raistrick noted the provisions of the 1821 lease, and went on to suggest that a deed of covenant, dated 1824, and a new lease granted in 1830, somehow point to the mill not having been built until 1824. In support of this, there is also a copy of an unprovenanced drawing of the “New Smelting Mill, Langthwaite, built 1824 by messrs Gilpin”, in the NMRS Records. Nevertheless, even if we accept that the mill had recently been completed, it was almost certainly built in the previous year because the deed was signed on February 17th 1824. Likewise, because the first lease was signed on June 1st 1821, the nine months allowed for building a mill meant that smelting could hardly have started until 1822. We are, therefore, left with the years 1822 to 1823 in which the New mill began work.
Both Jennings and Clough held that the mill had six reverberatory furnaces. This is wrong, however, and, as Dr Raistrick realised, the mill had orehearths. Moreover, Clough’s drawing differs significantly from the one in the NMRS Records. For example, whilst the layout of the waterwheel, central arched passage, and the six hearths are the same, on the latter drawing the fume hoods cum flues are less complex, and the roof is pitched north-south as opposed to east-west. Photographs in Clough’s book support his roof layout, but the flues are not clear. It is known that the flues were extended after 1854, and that by 1872 the hearths had also been modernised. It looks, therefore, as though one or both episodes was associated with a major rebuilding of the structure which took the fumes into the flues, and a realignment of the roof.
When the CB mill began smelting, its fumes were vented through a 160 metre long flue into the one from the Octagon mill. This gave a total length of 714 metres to the chimney. Sometime after 1854, however, a new chimney was built high on Moulds Side, 1470 metres from the mill. This new flue was also linked to the old chimney by a 136 metre long detour.
Dr Raistrick gave the closure date as July 1901, but the smelting ledger does not end until the end of October that year, and the mines did not close until the following year. When Stang & Cleasby Lead Mines Ltd worked part of the Arkengarthdale mines, between 1907 and 1911, it sold all the ore raised.
Further information and references can be found in:
- Gill, M.C. Yorkshire Smelting Mills Part 1, Northern Mine Research Society Memoirs 1992, British Mining No 45, pp 111-150