Ribblehead brickworks

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Ribblehead brickworks MYD36740 (c) YDNPA. 2023

Ribblehead brickworks MYD36740 (c) YDNPA. 2023

Because bulk transport into Ribblesdale was difficult in the late 19th century, a brickworks was built on site using local clay to supply bricks for the construction of the Ribblehead viaduct and Blea Moor tunnel on the Settle-Carlisle railway line. A number of brickmakers were accommodated in the surrounding Sebastopol construction camp including the Rixon family from Northampton who managed the brickworks. Contemporary newspaper accounts record that the patent brick-making machine by Porter and Co of Carlisle was capable of turning out 20,000 bricks a day. The ruined brickworks complex lies east of the Ribblehead viaduct. The twin mounds of the collapsed stone built chimneys can be seen along with the remains of the drying sheds and heaps of brick wasters, rejected after firing.

Ribblehead brickworks during construction of Ribblehead viaduct, late 19th century MYD36740

Ribblehead brickworks during construction of Ribblehead viaduct, late 19th century MYD36740


Cardwell, Peter et al (2004) ‘An Archaeological Survey of Ribblehead Navvy Settlements’ in White, R F & Wilson, P R (eds) (2004) Archaeology and Historic Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 2 pp195-202


The site is north west of the junction of the B6255 and B6479 at Ribblehead. Follow a broad track starting next to the Station Inn for about 400 metres. The site is to the right of the track, starting where a broad grassy track (probably an old tramway) curves away right. The site continues for another 500 metres beside the track. It is also possible to follow the old tramway round the eastern perimeter of the site.

Public Transport Details

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


Track is fairly level but rough and muddy in places.