In the valley south of Juniper, Devil’s Water runs north east towards Corbridge where it joins the Tyne. Hall Burn that gently flows down from Dukesfield to join Devil’s Water once turned mighty waterwheels which powered a lead ore smelt mill. On a bright spring afternoon when everywhere is bright fresh green and dappled light, it is hard to imagine this as the setting for such industry. Operational from the late 17th century until 1835, it was one of the largest smelt mills in the country. The Dukesfield Arches are all that remain:
Walk a half mile up the hill adjacent to the burn and you reach Dukesfield Hall parts of which date from the seventeenth century when it was the smelt mill agent’s house. A bothy opposite the main hall once stabled the packhorses which brought lead ore to the site from across the north Pennines. The drovers slept in the loft above the stables.
The bothy loft above the stables probably offered less than salubrious accommodation for the drovers but much has changed over the centuries. The Grade 2 listed Dukesfield Hall is now a thriving farm and Bed & Breakfast offering “Charming en-suite rooms, guest lounge with a log fire and a friendly atmosphere”. Your average drover would be astonished.
The last image is from Middle Dukesfield some 400 yards to the east.
Much of the information for this post was gleaned from the excellent leaflet “Dukesfield Arches & Devil’s Water” produced by Friends of the North Pennines.
Finally, that barn roof looks broken to me 🙂
(click on the images to enlarge).