Grey Towers was built between 1865 and 1867 for the ironmaster William Randolph
Hopkins, the designer was John Ross of Darlington. Its unsual colour is due to the whinstone used in its construction.
Hopkins, Gilkes and Co were ruined due to their part in the Tay Bridge Disaster and the house went on the market in 1879 for £30,000 but remained unsold.
It became the home of Sir Arthur Dorman, founder of Dorman Long between 1895-1931. After Dormans death the house was bought by Sir Thomas Gibson Poole as the site for Middlesbroughs tuberculosis sanatorium, however due to the 2nd World War it was not completed until 1945.
After the closure of the Poole Hospital in 1989 the house became a target for vandals but has since been converted into apartments
A BGS photo from 1975 shows the quarry faces still visible and a general mess.
The quarry now is virtually unrecognisable as its has been landscaped and converted into parkland.
One possible remnant is a cairn of stones erected by the entrance, to my non-geologist eyes the majority looks like sandstone, but I think the larger grey block could be whinstone.
Scale Cross was a small whinstone concern operated by the Commondale Whinstone Co in the early 20th century, the quarries from this period although now overgrown can still be located on the moor. This quarry may also have been known as Howl Sike but I’ve not seen any documentary evidence of that.
A tramway ran down the hill past Scale Cross farm towards the railway at the bottom of the valley.
Donkey Pond is a flooded whinstone quarry in woodland near Gribdale Gate.
Very little is know of the history of this site, such as whether it was linked with the underground workings of the Gribdale Mining Company about 1km west.
As the whinstone ridge head in that direction a large cutting is visible where the whinstone has been removed, and numerous tramways can be traced through the woods.
I first came across this site nearly 20 months ago and hadn’t realised what it was at the time, now looking back with a little more experience it became apparent it was on the whinstone dyke crossing the area.
A small quarry cutting can be seen with rocks outcropping from the sides.
A small bridge over a stream is visible which connected the site to the adjacent railway line
A drift runs 1770 feet from moorland to the south of the Whinstone Dyke.
The remains of a mine building stand adjacent to the entrance.
The drift entrance is dated 1940 whereas the mine building is 1899, this is most likely due to the large bomb crater next to them both which most likely destroyed the original drift entrance.
If not blocked, the drift would lead to the base of the mine working within the Whinstone Dyke, left was “Tinkers End” and right was “Sillars” both approximately 150 feet below the surface of the quarry.
This mine was actually accessible until the 1980s, and also subject to a rejected application for receational purposes in the 1970s. Internal photos can be seen on Mine Explorer
The site was leased by the Leeds Corporation from 1868 to provide street setts, it stretches for about half a mile. In 1883 the lease moved to William Winn
Gribdale Mining Company took over in 1913 and working stopped in 1918
A Geotrail more fully describing the location can be found here