The Unofficial Website for Tony Robinson
|Time Team: Series 16, 2008 - Click on the links below for the different programmes.|
|The Trouble with Temples - Friars Wash
The Wedding Present - Scargill Castle
Heroes' Hill - Knockdhu
Toga Town - Caerwent
Blood, Sweat and Beers - Risehill
Buried Bishops and Belfries - Salisbury
Anarchy in the UK - Radcot
|Mystery of the Ice Cream Villa - Colworth
Hermit Harbour - Looe
Called to the Bar - Lincoln's Inn
Beacon of the Fens - Warboys
The Hollow Way - Ulnaby
Skeletons in the Shed - Blythburgh
|Blood, Sweat and Beers - Risehill
This week the Team looks at how the navvies lived and worked on the famous Settle-Carlisle railway line and spent three days near Dent Station under the watchful eye of Yorkshire Dales National Park Authoritys senior conservation officer, Robert White.
The Team were digging at construction camp two, a group of five huts whose occupants built Risehill Tunnel north of Dent Station. The tunnel is the second longest on the line and was created between 1869 and 1875.
Robert said: Although we know a little bit about the construction of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, we had very little knowledge of the actual process and the living conditions of the people who built it.
At Ribblehead we have had the camp surveyed and done some excavation, but the site the Time Team looked at was the type we know very little about."
The Risehill camp was on top of a hill in the middle of a peat bog. The excavations showed just how harsh their living conditions were and helped give an idea of the scale of the machinery that was used to help build the tunnel.
The Team soon discovered that the peat bog is still very much in evidence!
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|Ever since I can remember I've known about the Settle-Carlisle Railway! But its only in recent years, (since my parents moved back to Yorkshire) that I've actually visited some of the sites Dad was always telling me about.
When I found out that Time Team were going to be at Risehill, I asked Dad to show me some of the sites on the line between Ribblehead and Risehill.
Below are some of my Dads and my own photos of the Settle-Carlisle railway. If you have never been to the line, I highly recommend a visit, not necessarily to have a ride on the track but to visit some of the sites to look at the effort put in by the engineers to build the railway.
For the section of railway between Ribblehead and Risehill, the church at Chapel-Le-Dale is perhaps a good place to start; inside the small church is a memorial to those that lost their lives while building the railway.
"To the memory of those, who through accidents lost their lives, in constructing the railway works, between Settle and Dent Head This tablet was erected at the joint expense, of their fellow workmen and the Midland Railway Company 1869 to 1876."
Next stop would have to be at Ribblehead viaduct itself; it really does have the wow factor! Then you have to leave the line for a while as it goes across Blea Moor and through Blea Moor Tunnel (have a look along the line of the railway on Google earth and you can see the massive soil dumps on the moor from the ventilation shafts).
You can rejoin the line close to Dent Head Viaduct, definitely worth a stop here and have a wander underneath the viaduct and have a look at the little pack horse bridge crossing the stream.
The road runs parallel to the railway for a while then at Cowgill you can turn up the Coal Road to Dent Station (which is miles from Dent!!) and look back down the line to see Arten Gill and Dent Head viaducts, a great view. Risehill tunnel can not be seen from the station but you can look at the area around the tunnel and think, blimey, Time Team must have struggled to dig up there!!
Dad has a few facts about this section of the Settle-Carlisle Railway below:
Rise Hill Tunnel is 1213 yards (3639 ft) long and was originally known as Black Moss tunnel. It is to the north of Dent Station and the line emerges into Garsdale Valley to the north where the only water troughs on the Settle-Carlisle were located. These were a 1/4 mile long and were at one time steam heated in winter to prevent freezing. These were the highest water troughs in the world (but as not many countries used them it doesn't count for much).
The tunnel is driven through the blue limestone of Risehill and was built between 1871-5.
There are 2 ventilation shafts the deepest is 147 ft.
Dent is the highest mainline station in England -1145 ft. It opened 6 August 1877