Industrial Heritage Online

Industrial Heritage Online

Haw Bank (Rock) Quarry

This is a very long quarry (900m by 100m) open at each end, cut into the natural linear Hawbank Hill (or Haw Park). The beds are so steeply dipping that once the base of each bed had been undermined the rest came tumbling down under gravity. As the hill was worked back as far as it could have been, and as reserves became slowly exhausted, working extended ever eastwards into what became known as Skipton Rock Quarry. No infrastructure remains in Haw bank Quarry as this is the current access route into Skipton Rock.

The Skipton Castle Estate landowners began to exploit Haw Park's limestone c. 1757 when the earl of Thanet's agents realised that money was to be made here, but it remained on a small scale with work largely concentrated in what is now called Skipton Woods, closer to the castle. large-scale work on Haw Park really began c. 1786 with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Co Ltd taking on the lease but until the Springs Branch canal extension was opened in 1797 little real progress was made as transport costs made it unviable. A tramway was laid from Haw Bank Quarry to carry stone to a level 33m above the east terminus of the Springs Branch at which point it was tipped down chutes to the canal wharf. Trade picked up markedly after 1816 and Haw Bank stepped up operations, In 1835-36 the chutes were replaced by a lower level tramway and incline plane using the continuous-rope system. Chutes were installed on the wharf to load barges direct rather than having to do it by hand as previously. A plan of 1852 showed the extent of the quarry as 15ha in area and a further 5.25ha set aside for future expansion eastwards. By 1836 a tunnel had been cut through the older western section of the quarry to carry the tramway under encroaching spoilheaps. With the coming of the Skipton to Ilkley railway in 1888 a rail spur was laid into the quarry so stone could now be despatched by rail as well as by canal. In 1893 the tramway tunnel was abandoned as a new incline had been built. Gradually work extended into what became Skipton Rock Quarry and by c. 1930 at the latest no work was done in Haw Bank.

Johnson, D. 2010. Limestone industries of the Yorkshire Dales. Stroud: Amberley, pp. 88-92.
Johnson, D. 2016. Quarrying in the Yorkshire Pennines. Stroud: Amberley, pp. 25, 66, 68, 92.

No previous comments have been made for this entry

Email comments

Key Words :- disused limestone quarry
Address :- A59, Embsay, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23
Grid Ref :- SE 001 526
Co-ordinates :- Lat - 53.969473 , Long - -1.999964
Local Authority :- Craven District Council
Pre 1974 County :- Yorkshire - West Riding
Site Condition :- Earthworks only
Site Dates :- pre 1757 - c. 1930