Photo Projects - Tony Crossland Photography

Industrial Lake District

We all know and love the Lake District for its magnificent scenery.  Its many lakes surrounded by rugged mountains have attracted visitors since Victorian times. Now a World Heritage Site, from  home and abroad, people flock here by the tens of thousands to enjoy the outdoors preserved in and around the Lake District National Park.

But, despite the tranquil pastoral scenes we mainly see today, the landscape was not always this way. In bygone times the Lake District was mined for coal as well as copper and barytes . Quarrying for slate, so often used for building, still goes on in a number of locations around the Lake District, but  mining has ceased. Scars on the landscape, for many operations, are the only tell tale sign that industry once past by there.

Apart from just a few locations little else remains.

But some places do survive. By accident or design, the remains of buildings, and machinery, still litter the landscape. Exposed to the full fury of the elements they slowly corrode and crumble. Scarred by decades of wind and weather. No one works here now, they lie abandoned awaiting for nature to reclaim what has been taken

Machinery, once so powerful,  could tear rocks from the hearts of mountains,  squeeze the precious minerals from the very rocks themselves, now quietly  turn the colour of autumn bracken.

Iron, oxidising in the clear mountain air.

Slowly flaking, unravelling, disintegrating.

Places once noisy, busy, alive ; now silent, cold, and dead.

These, and other images, form part of an on going project to document some of the industrial sites in and around the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

More photographs from the project can be found here.

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