Langthwaite offers a host of fascinating buildings and history...
Visitors to the dale cannot fail to notice Scar House, an imposing residence, which now belongs to the Duke of Norfolk. Believed to be built by the Gilpin Brown family, benefactors of the Church, the house passed to Colonel Guy Greville Wilson, DSO, CMG, who served both in the Boer and the Great Wars. An MP in Hull, he was said to procure “loose women” for his friend of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII! The house was sold in the early 1930s to meet his gambling debts, to Sir Thomas Sopwith, renowned for building the ‘Sopwith Camel’, a fighter plane. Lady Sopwith apparently disapproved of the fact that Eskeleth Hall was set higher up than Scar House and had it demolished.
In 1656 the people of London sold Arkengarthdale to Dr John Bathurst, physician to Oliver Cromwell. The Bathurst family and its descendants did much to develop the lead mining industry in the dale, especially Dr John Bathurst’s son, Charles Bathurst, who was Lord of the Manor in the 18th Century and who gave his name not only to the lead from the mines, but also the CB Inn.
Up the dale from the CB Inn is a triangular collection of cottages known as CB Yard. Currently the buildings are private dwellings, but originally these were the administrative centre for leadmining in the dale. The buildings would have housed joiners’ workshops, a sawmill and smithy, plus the offices and lodgings for the mine owners’ agent.
In an adjoining field is an intriguing hexagonal building. Built in 1807 and well away from other buildings, the Powder House was used to store the powder, and later dynamite, used in the mines.