Smelting accounts in the Chatsworth archives refer to a mill at Hebden between 1722 and 1732. From 1737, however, ore from mines in the Hebden liberty was smelted at Grassington. The two most likely sites for the mill are either near the junction of Bolton Gill and Hebden Gill, or on the west bank of Gate Up Gill, near Old Prosperous Mine.
This mill was built by the Hebden Moor Mining Company and, despite its name, it was at Hole Bottom, in Hebden Gill. It first appears in the Hebden Barmaster’s accounts for 1858, but it only had a very short life and most of the ore continued to be smelted at the Grassington Cupola. In 1872, slags belonging to the Hebden mines, from the latter mill, were smelted at Kettlewell.
There are few visible remains of the mill, which had a yard at the east side. A very short flue, from the single ore-hearth, ran up the hillside to a chimney. The mill’s water supply came from near the portal of Longshaw Level in a line of 400 mm diameter salt-glazed pipes. The latter can be traced along the gill side, with a very shallow fall to a point about 23 metres above the smelt mill. Such a high fall onto a waterwheel is unlikely and it is possible that a pelton wheel was used to drive the fan which blew the hearth.
Further information and references can be found in:
- Gill, M.C. Yorkshire Smelting Mills Part 2, Northern Mine Research Society Memoirs 1993, British Mining No 48, pp 132-151