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.