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Yarnbury lead mining, Grassington Moor Copyright Stephen Garnett


The minerals of the Yorkshire Dales have provided generations with work. Starting in Roman times, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the Yorkshire Dales was one of the main lead mining areas in the country. The mines and spoil heaps now merge back into the landscape, particularly in Swaledale.

Coal was mined for heating homes, lime kilns and lead smelt mills. Quarried limestone has built houses for centuries. It is now used for road building and the construction industry.

In the eighteenth century textile mills powered by our streams and rivers changed knitting, spinning and weaving from a cottage industry.