Thursday, February 05, 2009

England & Britains highest pub





Whilst up north after a spot of climbing in the Cumbrian mountains I decided to deviate from the A1 when travelling back to London and head over to the Pennine Way for a swift half in the highest pub in Old Blighty the Tan Hill Inn. The Tan Hill situated at 1,732 ft above sea level is a regular stop off for Sunday dinner on our Dove Cragging weekends away before we return home. A brief history of the Inn is as follows: It is built on land described by William the bastard whilst compiling the domesday book in around 1085 as being a wasteland. There are coal mining records on the site that date from at least the 12th Century A.D. and possibly earlier. The coal was a poor quality crow coal which gave off a lot of soot when burnt. It was not suitable for the steam engines that were to arrive in the Industrial Revolution - the superior coal from the County Durham pits was used instead to fuel the trains on the Stockton and Darlington Railway. The crow coal was used to fuel the lime kilns of Arkengarthdale - an environmental disaster, not just because of the pollution but also due to the kilns using wood, stripping Swaledale of the trees that grew in the more sheltered areas. Mixed with peat, this crow coal can be banked up over night and after a bit of poking in the morning can be rekindled. The seams were only four feet (120cm) thick but the mines under Tan Hill were extensive, justifying the need for a pub there. Horses would line up with their carts waiting to be loaded with coal for Reeth and Swaledale while the miners would sing and get drunk in the pub The inn was not on it's own all the time. Miners' cottages stood near the inn until they were demolished with the closure of the mines in the early 20th Century. Today the Inn is a haven of warmth and tranquility on the windy exposed Pennine Way where you can enjoy a pint or three in comfortable surroundings with a roaring fire, a dog & a cat and sometimes a few ducklings and even a sheep.



6 comments:

tally said...

great pics, i've been in ther a few times. story has it a few shepherds were in there having a pint in the early days when it started snowing. they were stuck there for months. what joy.

Tommy 3 Lions said...

Cheers Mate. I love the bleakness of the place especially on a snowy and windy day although it was a difficult drive in those conditions. The pubs snowcat broke down the other day in the middle of severe snowdrifts. Thanks for your comments.

Jill Pierre said...

wow, that's isolated! cool pics. Remind me of home (pennines) I'm now in Cornwall, and yes it is a lot warmer. Great blog.

Tommy 3 Lions said...

Thanks Jill, yeah a great place to refresh ones self, right on the Penine way too. All the best mate.

Howard Proctor said...

I found the history of this place fascinating. I would love to visit it someday. I believe this is the place which got completely snowed under during the epic winter 2 years ago. Apparently the owner's wife went to town to buy a Christmas dinner and couldn't return for 7 days!

Tommy said...

Hi Howard, yes mate yoiur right, also a few locals from the village of reeth popped up for a pint and ended up stuck in the pub 3 days or so, its very remote and worht a visit if your in the area. Thanks for dropping by buddy.