Austwick washdub

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Austwick washdub MYD36563 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Austwick washdub MYD36563 (c) YDNPA, 2023

In the days before chemical sheep dips, sheep had their fleeces ‘salved’ with grease (often butter) and Stockholm tar to keep parasites away. Before the fleece could be clipped and sold the salve had to be washed out in order to get a better price. In Austwick, farmers worked together and dammed Austwick Beck in Crummackdale to form a pool or washdub. The sheep ready for washing were herded into the small stone enclosure nearby. Austwick washdub field was given to the Parish Council by the landowner and they have had the enclosure restored with Millennium Lottery funding.


From the centre of Austwick go North. Shortly after passing the school turn left up Townhead Lane. Follow this lane for about 1 mile to a junction (on the right) with a private road to Sowerthwaite Farm. The tarmac ends shortly after this junction. Park on the left just past the junction;take care not to block any gate. Continue on foot up the lane (now Crummack Lane) for approximately 800 metres to a bridleway on the right signed to Wharfe.Turn down this track for about 500 metres to the bridge.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Clapham or Austwick. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Track is rough and stony in places.