Emergency work completed on Swaledale heritage site ahead of storm

Grinton Smelt Mill was protected from Storm Ciara in the nick of time.

Emergency work to protect one of the finest industrial heritage sites in the Yorkshire Dales, Grinton Smelt Mill, was completed last week, only hours before Storm Ciara caused another serious flooding event in Swaledale.

Last July, floods swept away an historic, listed stone-arch culvert which covered a watercourse running adjacent to the mill.

It was clear that another serious flood would almost certainly undermine the mill building itself.

A programme of flood prevention and stabilisation work was put together by the national park authority.

The most urgent work, which included repairs to the eroding watercourse edge and the installation of ‘rock armour’ in vulnerable areas, was completed in the nick of time last Saturday morning as Ciara began to roll in.

The contractor was Peter Iveson of Hawes.

Julie Martin, member champion for cultural heritage at the authority, said: “The speedy response to last summer’s devastating floods by our historic environment team, in partnership with the Grinton Estate and Historic England, saved Grinton Smelt Mill from damage during Storm Ciara.

“The mill is a Scheduled Monument and is a key site for the interpretation of lead mining heritage in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

“What a relief that the emergency works were designed, commissioned, funded and carried out in such a short space of time.”

People can visit Grinton Smelt Mill, as it is well served by public footpaths.

A suggested walk is here.