The national park contains an exceptional range of archaeology which provides evidence of human activity from the earliest hunters of the Paleaolithic through to twentieth century industrial remains.
Industrial archaeology includes coal, stone, lead and lime extraction and processing sites, as well as water mills. Large medieval estates and religious houses survive at Bolton Castle, Bolton Abbey, Barden Tower, Pendragon Castle, and Marrick Priory.
Scattered field barns of the dales are famous but there are also many villages and hamlets, built using the local stone and most of which have been there for over a thousand years, as well as scattered farmsteads. The Settle-Carlisle Railway Line, opened in 1876, is unique and displays impressive engineering and conserved Midland Railway architecture. Elsewhere, the imposing structures of former railways at Smardale and the Lune Viaduct are testament to earlier feats of engineering.
Below the pattern of drystone field walls can be seen many signs of older fields and settlements as archaeological lumps and bumps in the grass.
The historic environment team works hard to help people to conserve, enhance and bring back into use a variety of historical sites and buildings. We also run community archaeology projects and have teams of volunteers who survey barns, Listed buildings and scheduled monuments. Every year we hold the Dales Archaeology Day which anyone can attend to find out more about all the work going on by staff, volunteers, community groups, academics and professionals.
If you are a farmer or landowner we can provide:
- advice on managing archaeological features on your land;
- advice and assistance to owners of Listed Buildings;
- funding for works to improve or maintain Conservation Areas;
- assistance to owners of traditional buildings on how to maintain them;
- access to the Historic Environment Record which contains in excess of 34,000 records of known sites and features of archaeological, architectural and historical interest. It also includes aerial photographs, historic maps, technical papers and other sources of information in digital format or hard copy.
- assistance to owners of traditional farm buildings on potential sources of funding to maintain or protect them, or convert them to a new use;
Tel: 0300 456 0030
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority