Settle Pound Circular

Sunday, 3 December 2000 Leaders: Helen and Arthur Lupton.

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 
The reason for choosing this walk was to investigate the water supply to Dog Kennel Mill, a cotton mill at one time on the site of the Upper Settle covered reservoir. The masonry wall, cylindrical in plan and marking the circumference of the horizontal mill wheel was viewed, but as we did not have permission to walk on the Yorkshire Water land it could not be approached closely. According to Alan King the wheel ran horizontally with a vertical shaft, impelled by horizontal jets of water and thus acting as an impulse turbine. The wheel appears to have had a diameter of some thirty feet judging by the curvature of the wall.

The party took the footpath roughly parallel to the Long Preston Road up to Lodge Lane: this gives a fine view over Settle and the course of the drain carrying the tail water down to Runley mill. After following Lambert Lane to its lowest point they then approached Springfield Farm from the public footpath leading back towards the waterworks, to view the source of water for the mill. Here we were diverted from our main object, to examine the farm itself and its buildings. The farmhouse has a datestone of 1863 and does not appear on the 6" map of 1847. The initials on the stone are J & R S, referring to J Slinger and his brother. It was JS who conveyed the land for the upper reservoir to Settle Waterworks in 1890. Also of interest were the barns, one of them marked on the old map as a ruin, which retain the stalls and boskins from the pre-electric hand milking days. It was particularly pleasing to see them maintained in such good condition. When Mr Slinger sold the land below the farm for construction of the reservoir (where there had previously been a quarry) he stipulated that his farm should be supplied with water, for ever. It was interesting to see that Yorkshire Water, fulfilling an agreement with another company 100 years earlier, had recently installed new header tanks for the sole use of Springfield Farm.

Descending the hill we noted the cattle trough on the north of the Malham road, fed by water collected by a surface ditch from the wet hillside below Springfield, and carried under the road in a cast iron pipe. It was this ditch which I had previously thought provided the mill water, being misled by the apparent slope of the land, seen from below, into thinking that it drained in the opposite direction. The extensive works carried out through many centuries to make water available in this porous landscape are an impressive memorial to the industry of our forebears.

Finally we returned to the pound across the face of the hill below the ditch so as to be able to view the collecting ditch channelling Springfield water down the ancient stone lined drain to Dog Kennel Mill, and so eventually to Runley Mill and the Ribble after supplying many drinking places in the fields along the way.

We are most grateful to Mr Godfrey Haygarth and to Mr Edgar Moore for their encouragement, and permission to walk over their land. A.RR.L.