Gunnerside Gill

Posted in Gunnerside Gill on October 31st, 2013 by David Murphy

Gunnerside Gill27th October 2013
Myself Daveswildcamping and my good friends Mr. Kilburn planned a journey to a location Paul had been before and was rather fond of I remembered from his earlier vid on youtube.
As you no the usual meeting point is a pub this is for more than one reason and one of those reasons is a postcode for our sat navs.
The obvious pub in Gunnerside village would be the Kings Head but reading that this pub had closed one year ago to the month.
So it would be a village called Muker, I set off early knowing the Wear Tyne derby was due to kick off 13:30 so I tuned into 95.4 FM to listen to John Anderson’s commentary on the biggest game of the season,  Sunderland having not won a game all season sitting on one point at the foot of the Premier League table, whilst Newcastle United (bookmark my other site here) were full of confidence after a good fought for draw against Liverpool after going down to 10 men. So they appeared to be one outcome to this game,  how wrong I was, not a good start to my wildcamp.
I stood at the bar had a pint of lager and a pint of coke at this time I didn’t no the outcome of the game as I had lost radio reception at 1-1 so I went to the pub door with my drink and managed to connect to a bt hotspot and quickly realised the worst, Sunderland had won there first game of the season 🙁
Anyway Paul turned up roads were flooded quite bad so we headed for the parking spot, lashing with rain we headed to Gunnerside Gill.
We pitched the tents in some winds but not to bad, as we both discussed on the way here that tonight Britain would be hit with the fiercest storm for 25 years when Michael Fish famously got the forecast wrong and England was battered with severe winds and rain back in 1987. Myself I was a bit sceptical of this storm (named St. Jude Storm) that it would reach this far north whilst Paul was expecting 100mph winds he told me.
Watch my video below to find out what happened.

Coordinates: 54°23′58″N 2°05′32″W / 54.39944°N 2.09222°W / 54.39944; -2.09222

Upper reaches of the gill, showing the remains of Blakethwaite Smelt Mill.

Gunnerside Gill (or Ghyll) is a small valley in the Yorkshire Dales which branches off Swaledale into moorland to the north of Gunnerside.

The site of intensive lead mining in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the valley still contains much evidence of its industrial past. Streams were dammed, and the water released as a torrent to scour soil off the surface and reveal lead ore (galena) seams. The resultant scars are known as hushes (perhaps an onomatopoeia of the sound that the water made). Bunton, Friarfold, and Gorton hushes are on the east side of the valley, with the North Hush being on the opposite side. Large areas of the upper valley are covered in spoil heaps from the mining activity, and a number of buildings remain. Many of the buildings and mine structures are scheduled ancient monuments.[1]

Waterfalls in Botcher Gill, a tributary of Gunnerside Beck, contain numerous fossils.[2]

The Sir Francis Mine in the lower reaches of the gill. The building to the right is the remains of the mine offices.

The Sir Francis mine opened further down the valley in 1864 to exploit deeper seams, and was the first to use compressed air drills. It was abandoned in 1882 after failing to make decent returns.[3]

The Coast to Coast Walk passes through the upper reaches of the valley.[4]

As the valley descends southwards the scenery changes from the industrial to become a mixture of woodland and sheep pastures, before the beck joins the River Swale in the village of Gunnerside.


  1. ^ Smith, Roly (2008). Swaledale. Frances Lincoln Publishers. p. 13. ISBN 0-7112-2636-9.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ Fellows, G.J (2003). The waterfalls of England: a practical guide for visitors and walkers. Sigma Leisure. p. 129. ISBN 1-85058-767-1.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  3. ^ Kelsall, Dennis (2003). Yorkshire Dales - North and East. Cicerone Press Limited. p. 131. ISBN 1-85284-509-0.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)
  4. ^ Wainwright, Alfred; Derry Drabbs (2009 (revised)). Coast to Coast with Wainwright. Frances Lincoln Publishers. p. 158. ISBN 0-7112-2934-1.  |accessdate= requires |url= (help)