- Joan Bryden (www.wildcardwalks.co.uk)
Location: Greenhead Ghyll
If from the public way you turn your steps
Up the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll,
You will suppose that with an upright path
Your feet must struggle; in such bold ascent
The pastoral mountains front you, face to face.
But courage! for around that boisterous brook
The mountains have all opened out themselves,
And made a hidden valley of their own
No habitation can be seen; but they
Who journey thither find themselves alone
With a few sheep, with rocks, and stones, and kites
That overhead are sailing in tlie sky,
It is, in truth, an utter solitude.
By hiking in the valley of Greenhead Ghyll, Wordsworth found inspiration to speak of its’ tranquility and seclusion.
Greenhead Ghyll is located in the Lake District, UK. Located next to Greenhead Ghyll is Stone Arthur, a fell that stands above Grasmere Village, and Heron Pike. This valley contains evidence of former mining activities, beginning at around 600 ft above sea level with a trial. Further up the fellside are the remains of a lead mine. This was operated by the Mines Royal between 1564 and 1573 and there are several levels and shafts around the 1,000 ft contour. Stone Arthur can be reached through Greenhead Ghyll, climbing until a contouring traverse to the summit can be made.
Documentary and archaeological evidence points to at least two separate phases of exploitation at the Elizabethan lead mine. The first phase was the relatively short-lived Elizabethan workings, which were one of several small scale workings established around Grasmere. Then the second was in the late-nineteenth century the original mine was reworked and exploratory excavations were undertaken to the south of the main complex using drilling and powder-blasting technology. The relatively untouched nature of the main mine complex and the surviving extant surface remains for both extraction and processing contemporary with the earliest working of the site demonstrate a very rare survival of comparable remains both for the region and nationally.