Our History - is all around us

Longsleddale will have changed little in appearance over the years and much of its history can still be seen on the ground.


the track to Gatescarth Pass
the track to Gatescarth Pass
Sadgill Bridge
Sadgill Bridge
slabs mark the track west of the river
slabs mark the track west of the river
The valley was once an important route for packhorse trains travelling between Scotland and the south, or towards the west. A petition for a bridge at Sadgill was made in 1717 to allow the river to be crossed when in spate. The packhorse bridge has since been widened and a parapet added.


Ubarrow Peel Tower
Ubarrow Peel Tower
spice cupboard
spice cupboard date 1670, in a house
Dale End
Dale End
Most houses in the valley would have been built as small farms working the nearby fields, each sited above the river flood-plain, but where there was an unfailing supply of water. Several buildings date from the 17th century. The number of households has hardly changed since the census of 1841.


limekiln in Stockdale
old quarry
old quarry by Buckbarrow
wagon from Wrengill Quarry tramway
There is a narrow strip of limestone in the parish where lime was extracted for improving the land. In addition, bracken would have been burnt to produce potash.

The wool industry was important in the valley and some of the ruins that remain may have been fulling mills.

Small quarries abound, some with ruined buildings. The biggest quarry was at Wrengill but it is now derelict and dangerous. It was famous for its blue slate and had an extensive tramway.
buttonsee an old print of the quarry

Another industrial enterprise in Longsleddale was the construction of the underground aqueduct from Haweswater in the mid 20th century.
buttonsee the aqueduct survey pillars

Old Maps, Pictures and Documents

Longsleddale is marked on Saxton's map of 1576, as "Sleddale" on the river "Sput", and it is shown on later maps. There are a number of old pictures of the valley. Longsleddale is mentioned in documents dating from early in the 13th century, in Latin or English: from 1555 onwards more systematic records are available.

Saxton's map 1576
Saxton's map 1576

button Old Maps - large scale OS, geological, 18c/19c maps, field names

button Old Pictures - prints, paintings, photographs, postcards

button Local Records - 1555 to 1911 - from many sources

More information can be found online in a website of historic resources in Cumbria:-
For individual places look under their name, or find the parish entry for Longsleddale, in
Guides to the Lakes - gazetteer

button Longsleddale Home Page