Thornthwaite with Padside – SE 128604

In 1757, the Duke of Devonshire became farmer of the Duchy of Lancaster’s minerals in the Forest of Knaresborough. Mines were opened at Pockstones and Black Rigg and, in 1762, the Duke built the Forest Mill, incorrectly called Hoodstorth Mill by some, to serve them.

This early phase of mining may have been directly overseen from Chatsworth, but the liberty’s later history is linked with that of Grassington. The Earl of Burlington owned the minerals in the latter place and, when he died, they passed, through his daughter, to his grandson, the Duke of Devonshire’s eldest son, the Marquis of Hartington. Precisely when the Forest mines came under the control of the Grassington Barmaster is not clear, but it was probably in 1770, when the Marquis became Duke.

Following the reorganisation of mining at Grassington in the 1770s, the Forest Mill was judged to be inconvenient and it was neglected. The miners complained and asked to be allowed to smelt at White’s Mill. This would have meant a loss of control, however, and so the Forest Mill was closed in 1789 and smelting was transferred to the Grassington Low Mill.

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