Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Gargrave MYD36732 (c) YDNPA, 2023
The arrival of the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Gargrave in 1777 was a considerable boost to the textile and leadmining industries of the southern Dales. It provided a cheap means of transport for bulk goods including coal into the area to fuel lime kilns and smelt mills and lead, stone and manufactured goods out. So much trade came through Gargrave that five separate wharves were built. Raybridge Wharfe and Eshton Road Warehouse dealt with Upper Wharfedale; Highlander Wharf covered local trade while the Anchor and Scarland Wharves dealt with the Settle and Upper Ribblesdale trade. At some of these loading points large warehouses were built each with a large cobbled yard with a high wall around for protection. Business was brisk throughout most of the first half of the nineteenth century. At its height, long lines of carts could be seen stretching the length of Raybridge Lane and Eshton Flatts waiting to unload lead from the Grassington area into the barges and collect coal, corn and other goods for the return journey up Wharfedale.
British Waterways (No Date) The Leeds and Liverpool Canal. London: Pyramid Press
Gill, Harry M (1988) The History of Gargrave. The Ecclesiastical Parish of Gargrave Vol 2. Sheffield: Sheffield City Polytechnic
Hadfield, Charles (1950) British Canals An Illustrated History. London: Phoenix House