Shaping the Valley
The Landscape of the Washburn Valley
With abundant rainfall and narrow valleys with steeply sloping sides we can presume that the Washburn and its tributary streams have supported the use of water power since its earliest times and although it is now out of fashion, there are still many traces of it in the landscape.
It is very likely that the earthen dam near Blubberhouses was in use to power a forge associated with the iron smelting site on Skaife Hall Farm, just 200 metres away. Some other features are difficult to date but the history of West House is well known and Leathley Mill was in operation well into the 20th century.
Water Power - evidence in the landscape
Clay and Stone Dam near Blubberhouses
Water Power for West House Mill
Culvert near Swinsty Reservoir
Leathley Mill - now a private residence
Dam Site - Hoodstorth Smelthouse
Water Supply System with details of dams
JMW Turner ca1808