The Slave Masters in Dentdale

Leader - Clive Bell
14 April 1999
Meeting Place - Dent Car Park

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

A marvellous morning as I drove to Dent, snow covered hills against a sunny blue sky. Twenty-seven members turned up. Dentdale looked lovely in the sunshine so it was difficult to contemplate the dale as an industrial area and talk about unpleasant things like the slave trade, open-cast mining, quarrying of Dentdale ‘marble’ etc.

We climbed up Flintergill through Coventree and into Deepdale to view Rigg End, original home of the Sills family, Dentdale’s slave owners. We had lunch in bright sunshine in a warm and comfy amphitheatre near Deepdale Beck, but the weather gods demanded a price. After lunch we trudged through falling snow back into Dentdale to get glimpses of the Sills’ other properties, eighteenth century West House (Whernside Manor) and seventeenth century High Hall. At High Hall the weather gods decided we had had enough and rewarded the company’s good humour in adversity by bringing back the sun.

As I drove home the beauty of snow topped peaks, Whernside, Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough under the evening sun almost made me go back to do it all again but thoughts of dinner prevailed!


Slave chain anchor Diana Kaneps