Aysgarth Mill early 1900s
Yore Mill is a four-storey, Grade II listed building, built in 1784 by Birkbecks from Settle. It is of considerable historical interest, being one of the earliest examples of ‘industrialisation’ in a rural setting.
Its situation made great use of the river, the adjacent pathway and footbridge, originally built in 1539 for packhorses. Of these, most important was the water flow of the River Ure that runs alongside. Water flows from the river by way of a stone race at the upper of three large waterfalls. The race channels the water behind the Mill, originally to turn a water wheel that drove the mechanisms within the building. The site is gazed over by St Andrew’s, a mediaeval church site dating from AD 1000.
Originally, the Mill, built by the Birkbeck family of Settle in Yorkshire, served as a cotton mill. In 1852 the Mill burned down and the interior was destroyed. It was rebuilt the following year, an extra storey high and twice the original length and width. The upper storeys accommodated carding and spinning of knitting yarn. This finished in 1870.
The worsted produced at the mill was given out to knitters in the dale to make into stockings and jerseys.
When machine goods came in, over seven thousand of the jerseys were left on the hands of the knitters for several years. Eventually they were dyed and sent to Italy to become redcoats for Garibaldi’s’ army.
This finished in 1870. In the lower storey corn grinding continued until after the second World War. The Mill was converted in 1912 into a flour-rolling plant, and in 1937 two Gilks and Gilchrist water turbines, that are still in place, replaced the water wheel, and the latest milling machinery was installed. Flour production ceased in 1958 and the Mill was used as a cattle food depot until it changed ownership in 1969.
The mill then became home to the Carriage Museum.
The old mill at Aysgarth Bridge was burnt down in 1852, when the present large building was erected. In the earlier part of this century a portion of the mill premises was occupied for school purposes, and was known as the Yore Mills Academy.
The Academy was established by John Drummond, a man of great scholarship, who was lineally descended from the unfortunate Earls of Perth, who lost their estates through being implicated in the Stuart rebellion last century.
Drummond’s grandfather, fled from Scotland and secreted himself some time in Bishopdale, and his family afterwards settled in this neighbourhood. His father was for many years parish clerk, and he himself, in addition to his school duties, filled the same position for a long period.
As a schoolmaster John Drummonds attainments were undoubtedly considerable, and much in advance of his time; as a mathematician he was widely known, and had few equals. He was also a skilled land-surveyor, and an accomplished artist and engraver.
He was a member of the Bristol Mathematical Society, and three years in succession he won the first prize (which no-one else ever achieved) for mathematical problems originated by that society.
He was a man of exceptionally robust habits, and it is said that on the occasion of the last contest he did not undress for three days and three nights, so keen was he to maintain the success of his previous achievements. He lived to a good old age, and was married, but died childless.
YORE MILL TODAY
Yore Mill is a 4-storey, Grade II listed, high-profile building.
Built in 1784, it is of considerable historical interest, being one of the earlier examples of industrialisation in a rural setting, due to the power of the River Ure and its spectacular falls.
Water is drawn from the river by way of a stone race that is unchanged to this day.
Yore Mill houses a number of visitor attractions: