Askrigg roof slate quarry MYD36625 (c) YDNPA, 2023
The flaggy sandstones of the Yoredale series called the Lower and Upper Hawes flags proved ideal for the production of roofing slates in Wensleydale in the 18th and 19th century. A slate quarry on ‘Askrigg Pasture’ was operating in 1774 with the condition that the products had to be offered for sale in Askrigg before strangers could buy them. It is not clear exactly which quarry this refers to, since there were several stone quarries around Askrigg. Old Quarry off High Straits Lane is one possibility. High Straits Lane was used for quarrying at the time of the Enclosure Awards in 1819 although Old Quarry does not appear on maps until 1912. At the Old Quarry site the workface, an incline and a series of spoil heaps can still be seen. Two flattened areas near the entrance of the quarry may have been where the stone was stacked waiting to be split by the action of frost. The arrival of the railway at Hawes in 1878 allowed local quarries to greatly expand their market.
Raistrick, Arthur (1991) Arthur Raistrick’s Yorkshire Dales. Clapham: Dalesman
Location From Askrigg take road north and follow signs to Muker. After just over 1/2 mile, take unsigned walled track on left (High Straights Lane). View site over wall on left of track after a small ford (600 metres).
Public Transport Details Nearest town/village: Askrigg. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility Track is rough and muddy in places. Small ford to cross.