SCRCA structure 247800: Ribblehead Railway Construction Camp: Tramway System

SCRCA Location Introduction

When building a railway in the middle of nowhere, build a tramway system first . . .

To facilitate the contruction of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, an extensive narrow-gauge tramway system was constructed to link Blea Moor with the area now known as Ribblehead. Although the trackwork and buildings have all been removed, the earthworks associated with the trackbed are still clearly visible in the landscape. In the large image below, they appear as darker green lines of smoother grass, curving through the rougher vegetation. The grey-coloured access road also lies on the alignment of a section of the tramway.

The 2½ mile section of tramway between the Hawes-Ingleton Road and Force Gill was constructed in just one month and it was operated by steam locomotives running on the rails. The two steeper sections (from Force Gill, over Blea Moor, then down to Dent Head) were rope- or cable-operated inclined planes. These were powered by a pair of stationary steam engines, one installed at the top of each incline. At the summit on Blea Moor, a short section of relatively level track linked the two inclines, providing a continuous route from Ribblehead to Dent Head. Contemporary sources state that the track-gauge of the inclined plane sections was two-feet and it is highly likely that the loco-hauled sections were the same.

The Crag of Blea Moor Tramway linked the main tramway with quarries on the summit of Blea Moor.

247800_2007-07-22_MRH_AR_RRCC_Tramway-System_From-Ribblehead-Viaduct

Key details from the Location Record

Location Type
Archaeological Site
Location Variant
Archaeologal Site - Tramway
Assessment status
Assessed
Current Use(s)
Demolished
Shown on a land plan?
No 
Construction / installation period
MR-C: Constructed by the Midland Railway Co. between 1869 and 31st December 1876.
Distance from London St.Pancras
247 miles (chains not estimated)
Position relative to running lines
Remote
Visibility
This location IS visible from nearby publicly accessible land.
Accessibility (ease of access)
Moderate
Protection Category
Scheduled Ancient Monument
Geographic Location
  View this location on aerial imagery.

List Entry Extract(s)

The information quoted below has been extracted from the relevant List Entries in 'The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/).

Tip: To open the full extract, click / tap on the List Entry Number in the left hand column.

List Entry Number (LEN) List Entry District List Entry Name
1015726 Craven Ribblehead railway construction camp and prehistoric field system

Further Reading (Snippets)

The following 'snippets' contain additional information relating to this location.

Tip: To view a snippet, click / tap on its title.

 

Errors and omissions
Reasonable efforts are being made to ensure the accuracy of the information obtained and uploaded as part of the SCRCA Project. However, it is possible that a few errors will have crept-in. If you notice any such errors, we would be grateful if you would bring them to our attention using the SCRCA Project Contact Form. The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and the members of the SCRCA Project Team do NOT guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this database. If you intend to use and / or act upon any of this information, you are advised to verify its accuracy BEFORE doing so.