Reeth – NY 982002

A track to this mill, on the north side of the valley from Surrender Bridge, and the remains of stonework are still visible. It is also shown on early O.S. maps. Dr Raistrick called it Philip Lord Wharton’s High or (later) Smith’s mill but, as will be shown, it cannot possibly have been the former’s mill. It does not appear in records relating to the Wharton mines and, in 1738, the Duke of Wharton’s trustees sold the manors of Healaugh and Muker to Thomas Smith, of Gray’s Inn, for £10,500. The sale reserved mines oflead, copper and iron ore in all the common and waste lands for the use of the Trustees but, in 1739, Smith laid claim to minerals under an area called Beldi Hill, near Keld, which he alleged was enclosed. In 1742, he leased it to two brothers, John and Thomas Parke, and Leonard Hardey.

Ore from Beldi Hill was smelted at the Spout Gill mill, which belonged to The Company of Mines Adventurers of England until around 1757. Smith, who had been the company’s Principal Agent in Yorkshire, then claimed the mill as part of his purchase (see below) and his lessees continued to use it until around 1770, when he lost it. Contrary to the suggested date of 1670, therefore, Smith’s mill was not built until 1769. Why Smith had it built so far from the Beldi Hill mines is not clear, but it was more convenient for his lessees at Fryer Intake, and he probably expected more veins to be found under the Healaugh enclosures. Nevertheless, the mill was destroyed in a riot (instigated by Lord Pomfrets agents) in 1770-71, and the agent for Smith’s estate was scavenging slate and wood from it in 1784.

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