Walk: Burnsall & Troller’s Ghyll

in Burnsall

A walk through Burnsall, Troller’s Ghyll, Parceval Hall, Howgill and over the River Wharfe.

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The Route

  • what3words for start point: ///professes.desktops.trickle
  • Start Point: Burnsall, Wharfedale
  • Finish Point: Burnsall, Wharfedale
  • Distance: 8.3 Miles

GPX Route Map

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Walk Description

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Troller’s Ghyll

Legends and folklore make for a fascinating walk. Amongst the hills and valleys near the village of Appletreewick is a limestone gorge so dark and forbidding that our ancestors once feared it. They believed it to be the haunt of trolls, hence its name of Trollers Ghyll. According to legend these trolls, or mischievous fairies, roll stones down the steep hillside onto the heads of unwary walkers! A more sinister tale is told of a wolf-like beast that lives in a cave in this ravine, with large fangs and staring eyes the size of saucers. This is the infamous Barguest, which preys on unsuspecting travellers – if your eyes meet then it is certain death! These legends have their origins in Norse mythology. 

Just above Trollers Gill are the crumbling remains of Gill Head Mines, the last working underground mines in the Yorkshire Dales. Lead was mined here between the 18th Century and the early 1900s; however, it reopened in the 1920s as a fluorspar mine which then continued in production until 1981.

The surrounding moors are littered with the remains of the lead mining industry that once flourished in this area. Lead mining can be traced back to the Romans, although it was during the 18th and 19th Centuries that the mines were developed on a large-scale commercial basis with the advent of new mining and pumping technologies. Many years ago a pig of lead was discovered on the flanks of Nursery Knot with the Roman inscription of ‘Trajan’ on it, although this has since been lost.

Related Accommodation

The accommodation below is nearby - and has been updated recently.

The Devonshire Fell at Burnsall

Burnsall, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6BT, United Kingdom
Picture of Red Lion Hotel

Red Lion Hotel

By The Bridge At Burnsall, Burnsall, BD23 6BU, United Kingdom

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