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

Outlet from High Dam

Supply to High Dam

Lindley Mill

Mill Race

Mill Pond


Miller's House?

Mill Site

Dam Site -  Hoodstorth Smelthouse

Weir for Low Dam

Water Supply System with details of dams

JMW Turner ca1808

Tate Gallery

Little Mill, Thruscross

Old Mill Pond