Dukesfield Arches
Building Hexham Northumberland

Dukesfield Arches

Building In Hexham, Northumberland

Remains of a former smelting mill hidden in the Northumberland countryside.

If I'm not scouring Google maps looking for hidden gems, I'm on Instagram looking for inspiration and that's where Dukesfield Arches recently popped up.

The arches were once part of Dukesfield lead smelting mill which was in operation from 1666 until 1835. The mill was established by William Blackett and his son William Blackett successfully took over in 1680. (Remember him? He also owned Wallington Hall for a while).

There were numerous lead mines in the North Pennines at this time, so Dukesfield Mill became one of the largest smelting mills in Europe. Lead ore was brought here by hundreds of ponies and turned into pigs, or bars, of lead by the smelting process. The completed pigs were then carried by pony to Blaydon Mills (a 29km trip! Poor ponies!) and the lead was turned into sheets and pipes.

There is plenty of info online if you want to know more about how the mill functioned, however, the arches themselves were built to carry two flues full of lead rich smoke. The owners wanted to capture every bit of lead, so when the smoke in the flues cooled, lead was deposited inside the flue walls and could then be collected.

There is not a huge amount of the mill left other than the arches, though you can see remnants of the mill race which brought water to the site to power the waterwheels. There is also evidence of a wheel pit.

This is a pretty spot to spend 5 or 10 minutes and learn about the history of the area. We picked a wet and dreary day to visit, otherwise we might have spent longer here. The arches were part of a 6km walk that we did and you can find more details in the walks section of the website. Hopefully the weather is kinder to you!

Thanks to Tim Watkinson for the photos below, taken on a much more clement day.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 4 points if you have visited this place. Already visited by 21 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find Dukesfield Arches

Where Is Dukesfield Arches?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.916545, -2.09334

What three words

testy.cement.girder

Where To Park For Dukesfield Arches?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

60.709829, 60.709829

What three words

alienated.fools.given

There is parking just off the road opposite Dukesfield Mill.

Contributed by Sandra Clemens

I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.

More Places from Sandra
Sandra Clemens

More Places In Hexham

Find more fabulous places in Hexham, Northumberland and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Vindolanda
Vindolanda
Museum Hexham Northumberland

A Roman Fort, surrounding settlement and museum that has been gradually excavated over the past 50 years and the location of some of the most important Roman finds in history.

Chipchase Castle
Chipchase Castle
Castle Hexham Northumberland

A 17th-century Jacobean mansion disguided as a castle just north of Hexham.

Hexham Racecourse Trig Point
Hexham Racecourse Trig Point
Trig Point Hexham Northumberland

This is the trig point for Hexham Racecourse (233m) near Hexham.

More Buildings

So this building wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

Tower House
Tower House
Building Seaton Valley Northumberland

A castelled octagonal building in Seaton Sluice that was once a tax office, harbour master house and now a gallery.

Clennell Hall
Clennell Hall
Building Alwinton Northumberland

A 15th century country house, situated near the village of Alwinton in an area of natural outstanding beauty.

Gateshead Central Library
Gateshead Central Library
Building Gateshead Tyne And Wear

A purpose built library, which opened in 1926 with funding from the Carnegie Trust.

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of missing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group