Allenheads to Allendale – 16 February 2019
Imagine walking along the B6295 road from Allenheads 150 years ago, the road is in the valley and the River East Allen runs along most of its length. It almost certainly was not a tarmac road then but it would have been definitely a lot busier. Behind you, in Allenheads was the main mine which in its time between 1729 and its closure in 1896 produced over 250,00 tonnes of lead ore ready for the smelting mills. A bit further north from Allenhead just past Dirt Pot was the smelt mill. This was opened in 1700 initially to smelt ore from the mines around Nenthead, Killhope and Rookhope with the ore coming down the Carriers Way on the back of ponies. You can see the Carriers Way rising up the hillside as you go north past Dirt Pot, the 11.5-mile route walk on the Carriers Way on the first part of their walk.
All of that industry meant that there were large numbers of workers employed all around Allenheads. With the workers were their families and with the families came all the people that supplied food, clothing and household goods. All those people and supplies are moving up and down the valley road. As you continue north you pass small farms on the more fertile west side of the valley, many of these were leased by the miners and smelters to supplement their income. As they travelled to work, to church and between the small hamlets they created numerous paths many of which are the footpaths our routes will travel along.
Leaving the noise and smoke of the mine and smelt mill behind in Allenheads it will not be long before the noise and smoke of Allendale smelt mill come into view. This smelt mill was even older than the one in Allenheads having been opened in 1680. For some time it just serviced the smaller mines in the local area because most of the work was being carried at Dukesfield Smelt Mill further to the east. But as more lead mines were being developed extra smelt mill capacity was needed. So in 1795 Allendale began to expand. In the one hundred years between 1795 and its closure in 1896, it became one of the largest smelt mills in the country. To accommodate the extra capacity of all the people a town was built that over time included churches, hotels, inns and shops and it is here that we will finish our walks.
All the routes except the 7-mile route start in Allenheads and they all follow the various footpaths that head roughly north towards Allendale Town. The 7-mile route starts on the B6295 road about a mile south of the small hamlet of Spartylea and includes the same footpaths.
If you fancy joining us for a walk along a section of industrial history which crosses some of the best scenery in the North Pennines you can get in contact with us from our Contact Page and you can find the walk descriptions here and the GPS routes here.
Allendale Town Weather
|Walk No. 4||Allenheads to Allendale Town||16 February 2019|
|Area: Northumberland||Map: OL 31,43|
7 miles Moderate
Start: B6295 Road Grid Ref NY852477
Footpath on West side of River East Allen – Spartylea- Shield Bank – Knock Shield – Isaac’s Tea Trail via Pry Hill, Park and Wooley Scar – Allendale
9.5 miles Moderate
High Shield – Dirt Pot – Footpath on West side of River East Allen – Peasmeadows – Footpath on West side of River East Allen – Corn Mill – Elpha Green – Black Way (Track) – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Park – The Hagg – Loaning Side – Steel – Steel Woodhead – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Allendale
11 miles Moderate
Minor Road East to Eastend Burn – Faw Side – Middle Rigg – Byerhope Bank – Fell View – Coatenhill Farm Cottage – Thorney Knowe – Black Way (Track) – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Steel – Steel Woodhead – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Allendale
11.5 miles Moderate
West End – Carriers Way – Shooting Cabin – Killhope Law – Shivery Hill – Isaac’s Tea Trail – Black Way (Track) – Isaac’s Tea Trail via Pry Hill, Park – Peckriding – B6295 Road – Allendale
Pub – The Kings Head Telephone: 01434 683681