Grinton – SE 028970

The history of this mill remains vague. Dr Raistrick argued that “we shall probably be justified in assuming that Grovebeck had been the smelting mill for Harkerside from the second quarter of the seventeenth century when those mines were being worked by Humphrey Wharton”. He was right to view Grovebeck as the smelting mill for the Harkerside and Whitaside mines but, as will be shown, Wharton had a mill on his estate at Gilling and probably did not need another. Tyson, on the other hand, argues that Grovebeck mill was built soon after 1692, when Sir Solomon Swale granted a 31 year lease of Harkerside mines to Bickerstaffe.

Nevertheless, Grovebeck mill must be much later if the argument developed above, that Marriott built the first mill, and it was still the only one in 1765, is correct. This idea is supported by an agreement to settle a dispute about smelting at Grinton mill between the Lord of the Manor, Caleb Readshaw, and the Crown lessee, Mrs Moore.

It also appears that the development of the Grovebeck mines was quite late because Mrs Moore granted blocks of meers there in 1761, and George Jackson records that Grovebeck Vein was discovered by Thomas Dunn in 1762. Part of Mrs Moore’s grant was a promise to find the takers a mill, and a plan of the mines shews the area was an granted by 1768, and Grovebeck smelt mill had been built. It is likely, therefore, that the mill was built between 1762-65.

As with many mills, the date of closure for Grovebeck mill is problematic. The smelting accounts record that Grinton ore was smelted there between 1820 and 1822, when the How mill was being rebuilt. In which case, closure was probably in the mid 1820’s. It is not shown on a plan of Grinton liberty made in 1774, however, and a report on the mines in 1776 only refers to the How and New mills, from which the old lessees had sold the utensils (probably to the new lessees). The Grovebeck mill that was working in 1820 may, therefore, have been the New mill, which was on Grovebeck.

Further information and references can be found in:

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