Old Newspapers
Leeds Mercury August 7 1888


The monthly meeting of the waywardens of the Richmond District Highway Board was held on Saturday. Mr. SAMUEL ROWLANDSON presided. The CHAIRMAN read the appended report as to damages done to the roads, bridges, drains &c., by the late flood in the river Swale on the 25th of July last year:— "I have to report that very great damage has been done to the roads and bridges in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale parts of this district. At Brompton-on-Swale the river has broken into the bank adjoining the new road that was made a few years ago, to the extent of 55 yards in length. At Rowleth Bottoms (Melbecks) the river has caused considerable damage, having overflowed its banks and washed away the wall adjoining the river, filling up the bed of the river with stones and gravel. This will require to be opened out, so as to keep the river as much as possible in its proper course.

At Gunnerside the large bridge which crossed the river at this place is entirely swept away; also the road leading from the village to the bridge, for about 500 yards, rendering it impassable, by the beck which flows through the village. Its proper course is filled up, and it rushes over on to the road, breaking up the roadway from four to six feet deep the whole length. I have caused this road to be fenced off at both ends. The beck on the road-side at the west of the village of Muker has done immense damage, having broken into the road in three places. This I have caused to be protected until the damages are repaired. Askridge-road was blocked for a few days on account of a large slip of earth falling on to the road from the hill above, but it is now open again for traffic.

In Arkengarthdale, the Arkle Beck—a large brook running down from the mountains and effecting a juncture with the Swale between Reeth and Grinton has done much damage throughout the dale. The foundation of the north pillar of Whaw Bridge has been dangerously undermined, and the pillar very much broken. This bridge I have caused to be underset until we can have it repaired. I don't think that the arch will have to be taken down if I find the foundation of the north pillar good. I expect this bridge has been damaged by large boulder stones and trees which were brought down the dale by the force of the flood. At the north side the bridge the road is very much broken up, caused by the beck breaking over the bank on to the road, which runs alongside the beck at this place; the traffic will pass by a back road until the other road is repaired.

The Cockerfoot-road has been damaged by the overflow from the Arkle Beck but not to any great extent and the road is open for traffic. The roads in other parts of the dales have been considerably damaged by the flood, the estimated damage being between £700 and £800. The Muker Beck road has also given way.—JOHN HODGSON, district surveyor, North Cowton, 3rd August, 1888."—The SURVEYOR stated that the flood had overflowed the valley in such a manner that the crops of hay from one end to the other of Swaledale were perfectly worthless.—Mr. COATES asked if the Highway Board was compelled to make the bridge.—The CLERK answered that as there was no road remaining, the Highway Board had nothing to do with it.—Ultimately the question was left to a committee.


Leeds Mercury August 7 1888