May 2017(a): Field Barn on Occupation Road, Muker

 

Historic Environment Record: MYD36689

Parish: Muker

OS Grid Reference: SD912977

Dale: Swaledale

Out of Oblivion: http://www.outofoblivion.org.uk/record.asp?id=224

Access: Please note that this field barn can be viewed from a bridleway but that there is no public access to the interior of the barn, or the adjoining field.

 

This stone field barn is unusual as it has a date stone over one of its doors. The date stone is marked W Hall, the last number is missing, but what remains dates the barn’s construction to between 1800 and 1809. This places it near the beginning of the widespread process of replacing timber barns with stone ones in the Dales. In construction, the barn is typical of the small stone field barns to be found in this part of Swaledale. It is a two door field barn with relatively well-coursed sandstone and limestone block walling with regular lines of throughs, as well as slit vents on the south elevation. Over the winter, cattle were housed in the shippon below while their food, hay from the surrounding fields, was stored in the mew alongside and also in the loft above. Muck from the cows was spread on the fields as fertilizer in the spring.

 

The barn survives in fair condition, though in a slightly altered form. It has been restored with the aid of a grant from the National Park Authority.

 

This field barn falls within the Barns and Walls Conservation Area of Upper Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. A dominant feature of the two valleys is the intricate pattern of drystone walls and dense network of traditional stone-built field barns. In Swaledale there are on average 14 field barns per square kilometre. As farming has changed and developed the field barns have become more redundant and derelict making our Every Barn Tells a Story (EBTAS) project ever more necessary. Read more about EBTAS at http://everybarn.yorkshiredales.org.uk/.

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