Grassington – SE 006633

This, the first of Grassington’s smelt mills, was built in 1605 by the Earl of Cumberland. It stood on the north bank of the River Wharfe, opposite Linton church, and underwent many alterations. For example, a second ore-hearth was added in 1741, a third in 1754, and a second waterwheel, for driving the bellows, was built in 1761.

Each hearth, or pair of hearths, had its own chimney which, like the one at the Marrick High Mill in Swaledale, probably extended about 4 metres above the roof. This was a common arrangement until the end of the 18th century, but it caused serious pollution problems on adjoining land.

From October 1792, smelting was switched from the Low Mill to the new Cupola Mill on the moor. A stockpile of ore still remained at the Low Mill, however, and it was not until the 7th February 1793 that the last smelting was done there.

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