Not all the wonderful barns of the Yorkshire Dales have been converted in to holiday lets or cottage homes. These distinctive, rustic almost run-down but utilitarian structures still abound. Originally erected in 18th and 19th centuries many of these barns were built, to store hay near the point of use and were called Laithes, or as Hogg Houses (Hoggs are young sheep) to overwinter the sheep. Tudor Tythe barns still exist at Riddlesden Hall Keighley and Botton Abbey.
The Yorkshire National Park Authority’s Planning Committee have approved the temporary use of a free-standing ‘eco-pod’ inside an isolated barn on the Bolton Abbey estate near Skipton. Yorkshire Forward are supporting this and other conservation measures to protect the 2000 odd barns that are suffering from dereliction.
The National Trust owns Town Head Barn Malham and this 18th century barn has been restored it to its original condition when it would have been used to house overwintering cattle and hay to feed them. It is located on the edge of the village next to its farm and is therefore a rare survival. Most village barns in the Dales have been sold off for house conversions.
Barns of the Yorkshire Dales by Andy Singleton & David Joy is prefaced by Bill Bryson “‘Many of the best of England’s barns are in the Dales. So it is wonderful to see a book celebrating, with wit and affection and penetrating historical insight, the Dales barn in all its undersung glory. This truly is a delightful and valuable book – almost as good, in fact, as the barns themselves.’ ”
Barn at Burnsall
Mark Banks Dales Barn series
Main photograph at Hardwick House looking towards Nesfield and Beamsley Beacon.