C B Yard

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C B Yard MYD21517 (c) YDNPA, 2023

C B Yard MYD21517 (c) YDNPA, 2023

The vast majority of miners working in the lead mines throughout the Yorkshire Dales, lived in nearby villages and on smallholdings. They walked to and from work, often many miles in soaked clothing. Being so speculative, mining often failed to provide mining families with a full income. If they were lucky they also farmed in a small way, perhaps with a milk cow or a few sheep grazing on the moor. Knitting supplemented pay and many a miner was seen knitting while walking to work.

In Arkengarthdale, unusually, housing for miners and their families was provided on site by the company owners around 1802 at about the same time as the magnificent Octagon smelt mill was built – at the time, one of the largest buildings in the Dales, now sadly demolished. The hexagonal powder house in the field south of CB Yard gives an idea of what the mill looked like. Black powder was doled out to miners from the building, set well away from other buildings for safety reasons.

CB Yard (named for Charles Bathurst one of several men with the same name who owned the mining company) also contained a wood yard where timber, essential for the operation of the mines, was worked.


From Reeth take the minor road north signposted Barnard castle and Langthwaite. Follow this north for about 6km, through the small village of Langthwaite and past the CB Inn until there is a road on the right signposted Barnard Castle. Ignore this junction and carry on towards Tan Hill for a further 220m. CB yard is now on your right. The interior of the yard is private property but there is a public footpath to the south of the mill, accessed through a double wooden gate which gives good views of the buildings and also of the hexagonal powder house

Public Transport Details

Nearest Town: Reeth. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


The Yard and Powder House can be easily seen from the roadside