Blakethwaite Force

Blakethwaite Force

Blakethwaite Force is a waterfall just beyond the ruins of Blakethwaite Smelt Mill in the upper reaches of Gunnerside Gill in Swaledale.

Gunnerside Gill is one of the highlights of Swaledale and a walk up the mine scarred valley offers some of the most dramatic scenery the Yorkshire Dales has to offer. While most people venturing up Gunnerside Gill turn around at Blakethwaite Smelt Mill a thin, and sometimes precarious, path continues upstream where Blakethwaite Force is soon encountered.

The view up Gunnerside Gill towards Blakethwaite Force
The view up Gunnerside Gill towards Blakethwaite Force

Passing Blakethwaite Force and Ewebank Scar (keep an eye out for ring ouzels) a second waterfall is encountered at three-quarters of a mile further up the path at Blakethwaite Dams. Built in the 1830’s the Blakethwaite Dams were built to store water for the mine dressing floors further downstream.

At Blakethwaite Dams, notice the broken wall of the lower dam
At Blakethwaite Dams, notice the broken wall of the lower dam

The upper dam is substantially higher than the lower dam and water drop down over the broken dam over two high natural drops to form a waterfall that is in some way finer than Blakethwaite Force.

The waterfall at Blakethwaite Dams
The waterfall at Blakethwaite Dams

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