Industrial Heritage Online

Industrial Heritage Online

Foredale Quarry

It is a large single-bench Carboniferous Limestone quarry which has been largely untouched since it was abandoned and, given its inaccessibility, much of its infrastructure is in situ. Though most buildings were blown up, sufficient remains to piece together its working parts and the entire tramway and internal railway track have been fossilised in the present quarry floor, as have parts of the compressed air pipe network. The masonry-built supports for the drumhouse at the incline top are intact as is most of the incline bed. The powder store is also intact and roofed. The limeworks site (Ribblesdale Limeworks) at the foot of the incline at SD 803 701, including an L-shaped bank of three masonry lime kilns, was demolished in the mid 1980s and the site was landscaped. It is the only limestone quarry, in this contributor's experience, to have such a good rate of survival.
Foredale Cottages were built for the quarrymen.

In 1878 a partnership of three men, two local and one - Jonathan Ritson from Hunslet - took out a 21-year lease on the site but in 1882 they sold out to Leonard Cooper, an iron master from Leeds, Thomas Ritson and Edward Crawley, an iron merchant in Leeds. These trio formed the Ribblesdale Lime & Flag Quarry Co. Ltd in 1882 with the registered office in Leeds (TNA BT31). They advertised their products as lime and "blue flag" items, these quarried at the level of the base of the incline. In 1910 the company name was shortened to the Ribblesdale Lime Co. Ltd with Cooper as its chairman. In 1927 the company entered into a pooling arrangement with the Craven Lime Company Ltd at Craven Limeworks (qv) and John Delaney Ltd at Horton Quarry (qv) to form Settle Limes Ltd. In 1939 the three companies formally amalgamated as one compnay - Settle Limes Ltd and new plant was erected in 1931 with additional plant in 1939 to produce ground agricultural limestone. Planning consent was renewed in 1931 and 1948 and again in 1949 to extend the area and life of the quarry: by 1949 it was turning out 30,000 t of burnt lime and 15,000 t of pulverised limestone. Renewal of consents was due again in 1953 for a further 25 years but by 1958 the whole operation had been abandoned as depressed trade conditions led to a serious shortfall in orders. In 1961 ICI Mond took over Settle Limes Ltd and while hey planned to resume quarrying here, and to extend it northwards to join up with Horton Quarry, they allowed the 1953 consent to lapse. In 1996 all consents for Foredale were formally extinguished.

Johnson, D S. Foredale Quarry, Helwith Bridge, a historical and archaeological survey. British Mining No. 80, 2005, pp. 111 -34.
Johnson, D S. Foredale Quarry, Ribblesdale Limeworks. An industrial archaeology survey of the quarry. Hudson History, 2005.
Johnson, D. Limestone industries of the Yorkshire Dales. Amberley, 2010, pp. 186-92.

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Key Words :- limestone quarry disused
Linked Sites :- ,
Address :- Helwith Bridge, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire
Grid Ref :- SD 799 705
Co-ordinates :- Lat - 54.129954 , Long - -2.309084
Local Authority :- Craven District Council
Pre 1974 County :- Yorkshire - West Riding
Site Condition :- Site disused - but otherwise substantially intact
Site Status :- Site extant - Protected status unknown
Site Dates :- opened up in 1878 - closed down in 1958