Red Scar lead mine and ore works MYD1816 (c) YDNPA, 2023
This remote mine complex was built in the middle of the nineteenth century and illustrates well how heartbreaking leadmining could be.
The Directors of Grimwith Mining Company clearly felt that they were on to a sure thing when they signed the 21 year lease on the site in 1862. Red Scar was located next to rich veins of lead ore already being worked on Grassington Moor and Greenhow and there were lucrative mines nearby at Appletreewick and Hebden Gill. The company assured potential shareholders that there would be a fine return on their investment, writing that, “none of the disappointment, which often arises in similar undertakings…can be experienced by this Company”. It was not to be. Flooding and poor quality veins meant they eventually ran out of money and the mine was closed in 1877.
The initial confidence of the company was reflected in the fine quality of the buildings on the site and it is possible that the Directors intended the mine to be a showcase and advert for further enterprises across the dale. The remains of the office building and lodge house are particularly notable. It was built around 1867 and still dominates the site. Lead miners usually lived with their families in nearby settlements, but Red Scar is remote so the company provided some basic accommodation for them on site. The first floor oriel window overlooking the site was part of the offices and the building also included a store-room.
Location From Hebden take the B6265 travelling east for 2 miles. Turn left into lane signed 'Grimwith Reservoir'. After nearly a mile there is a free car park. Take track from the east end of the car park and follow this round the reservoir for 3.7km ( alternatively go westward for 2.9km) . 20 m before (or after ) the bridge over Gateup Gill there is a metalled shooting track leading north which leads to the Mine. Follow this track northwards for 850m until you reach the ruined mine office building on the right hand side of the track.
Public Transport Details Nearest village: Hebden. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility The track around the reservoir is well surfaced. The track leading from the reservoir is closed by a five bar gate which may need to be climbed.