Walls, Barns and Rooftops

Since planning my holiday to the Yorkshire Dales, I had many dreams of seeing these wonderful fields with their stone built walls and barns in the small village of Gunnerside, Swaledale. I’d seen photos in books and on websites and tried to imagine what it would be like to see them in reality. I can quite honestly say that I was over-awed by the sight and didn’t take as many photos as I had intended. Somehow it seemed enough to be there and to look – rather than capture lots of images.

I took this photograph, however, whilst descending a steep winding track towards Gunnerside village. As well as the pretty walled fields with attached barns – created during the Enclosure in the late 18th century – I wanted to capture the closeness of the houses to each other. One in particular seems to have been slotted in at an angle.

This village – with its history set in lead-mining – was my favourite of all the villages we visited. It didn’t have facilities such as a shop or post office but it had a pub which served delicious steaming hot food, a working Smithy with attached museum, a tea room, and a tiny village green complete with benches and colourful planting (and now a beautiful hand-crafted metal Rose Arch for the Diamond Jubilee!).

I think of these fields – known as Gunnerside Bottoms – a lot since returning home.

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30 thoughts on “Walls, Barns and Rooftops

    • Many thanks Sandy. I’m so pleased you think it’s pretty too. They filmed All Creatures Great and Small not far from here – just a few miles up the road in Askrigg, Wensleydale.

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    • Oh, the scenery in the Yorkshire Dales is so unspoilt Jane. There is a beautiful view wherever you look! There is so much open space, greenery, beautiful walls, meadows. It was my first visit but already I am planning another. Many thanks.

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    • All I know is that leadminers and married men were given priority over others to have a piece of land and they only had a limited time to build the walls. If they didn’t succeed, then they would lose their right to it. They do make for spectacular and beautiful scenery.

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  1. What a magical beautiful place – your photo is fanatstisk with this fine light. But I’m not sure that everything has always been idyllic here if they have worked with lead mining ……

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    • Many thanks Truels. You are right. Lead mining was a dirty dangerous job. One can walk up the ‘gill’ to see the lead mining works. The scenery bears the scars of the industrial past.

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