Hebden Township Historical Data

Hebden Barns

Field barns have been a characteristic feature of the Dales countryside for over 300 years. The date that most of them were built is unknown, but the main building period of the ones we see in the southern Dales was the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century. They were an integral part of an agricultural cycle whereby the cattle spent the year close to where they grazed, which only started to die out in the last forty years. The hay from the meadows would be stored in the barns, where the cattle spent the winter months, and the muck accumulated during the winter would be used to fertilise the meadows.

The barns were made with stone, with the roof usually flagged. In Wharfedale they often have large double-doors to allow hay carts to be backed in, sometimes at the back of a large porch area, with two or three smaller entrances allowing ready access to parts of the interior. Large holes in the walls gave access to the roof space. They often had extensions added, known as outshuts, including calf hulls for wintering calves, and kennels.

The interior of the barns tend to follow a pattern - presumably the result of many generations of trial and error. Their features often have names originating from the Norse and Danish settlers from the first millennium, which can vary according to the area. The cows are held in the shippon, in stalls separated by timbered or large flagstone partitions called boskins. Each stall, known as a boose (or bose, buse) held two animals separated by a wooden post. The booses are cobbled, except for a row of flags along the front and back, known as settlestones. The ones at the back act as a curb, separating the boose from the area behind it. The front ones, however, are to make life more comfortable for the animals. When cows lie down, they drop into a kneeling position first, and the flags are easier on the knees than cobbles. The cows are tethered using a thin chain, a cowband, to a ring, known as a redwiddie, which can slide up and down a post called a rudstake (or rudster), fastened into the ground. The front of the boose, the skelbuse, was made of slatted wood. In front of the skelbuse was the fodder gang, a passage area used when feeding the stock. When in use, bedding is laid on the floor of the booses - originally bracken, but later straw as transport improved. At the rear of the stalls a channel known as a group received the muck. This was accessed along the back walk, from the shippon door. The muck was forked through a muck 'ole in the gable end of the lathe into an outside midden.

Each cow required an enormous amount of hay, typically over a couple of tons, as well as bedding to see them through the winter, and much of the barn space was used for its storage. The area not used to house the cows, known as the mew (sometimes called the mewstead when not in use) was the main storage area, but the roof-space above the booses, known as balks (or baux), was also used. The mew was at first filled from hay delivered through the door, but when the stack became too high it was loaded through forking 'oles in the wall. The hay was prevented from overheating by ventilation supplied through the forking holes, slits, and small holes in the stone work.

Skuff Barn still retains a number of the features described above. It also has the remains of a watering system, probably installed in the 1950s, which allowed stock to access water in their bose by pressing a lever with their muzzle.

Robert Chapman commented when he saw the photographs: "I have been in many in my 70 years, and run the gauntlet as you mucked out the cows. You often got the shovel kicked out of your hands, or received a nice dead leg from a nervous beast. I gave up using a brush - they hated it. I always looked forward to the warmth after I had trudged through deep snow to get there on a wild wet windy day. With most out-barns, you had to let the cows out for water once a day - then the fun began tying them back up."

For the following photographs click an image for a larger version and explanatory test.

The following is a record of the stone barns (lathes) to be found in the Hebden township. In the main only field barns have been included, but there are exceptions. It is based on those marked on the 1846 tithe map, together with later builds. Map evidence has been used to identify the approximate date of the latter. Others may have been built and demolished before the tithe map was made. The only barn that seems to have been built as a result of the 1857 Enclosures is a small barn on Tinker's Lane (B30 in the list below). The current status of the barns is recorded in the register below: some have been demolished or fallen into ruin, some have been converted to housing, but many are still standing. Again, an attempt has been made to establish the date of demolition or conversion. Below is a Google Earth image shewing the location of the barns listed. You may download the original kmz file which marks their locations.

Location of field barns in Hebden.
Location of barns in the Hebden township. Click image for larger resolution

Clicking on the location link brings up a Bing aerial view shewing the location of the barn. Clicking on a photograph link displays a recent photograph of the barn or the original site of the barn. Sometimes an "old photo" link in the notes will take you an old picture of the barn. When displaying an image you may use the controls to expand the image even further, or close the image.

Barn Id Name Location On tithe map? Status Photograph Notes
B01 Longholme Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B01. Longholme Lathe
Some ruins apparent. Slates used for New Lathe in 1887. Old photo
B01. Longholme Lathe: In this photograph from the 1930s, it may be seen relatively intact on the horizon on the left
B02 Wiggan Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B02. Wiggan Lathe
Modified c.1969 after slates used on Beverley Farm
B03 Here Yes Gone Photograph
B03. - Demolished between about 1846 and 1850, there is little sign of it now
Demolished between about 1846 and 1850
B04 New Year’s Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B04. New Year’s Lathe - Demolished between about 1850 and 1890, there is no sign of it now
Demolished between about 1850 and 1890
B05 Here Yes Gone Photograph
B05. - Demolished between about 1846 and 1850, there is no sign of it now
Demolished between about 1846 and 1850
B06 Eddy's Barn Here Yes Converted Photograph
B06. Eddy's Barn
Converted about 1976 - now known as Cruck Barn. Old photo
B06. Eddy's Barn: It can be seen centre-right in this late 1930s Walter Scott postcard
B07 New Lathe Here No Standing Photograph
B07. New Lathe
Built in 1887 by David and Richard Joy for £65. Slates came from Longholme Lathe. Has a date stone
1887 date stone on New Lathe
B08 High Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B08. High Lathe
Demolished after late 1930s. Old photo
B08. High Lathe: It can be seen top left in this late 1930s Walter Scott postcard
B09 Home Barn Here Yes Standing Photograph
B09. Home Barn
Extended in 1896 by David and Richard Joy
B10 Pickering High Lathe(?) Here Yes Standing Photograph
B10. Pickering High Lathe(?)
Extended between 1890 and 1907
B11 Pickering Low Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B11. Pickering Low Lathe
B12 Town Head Lathe Here Yes Converted Dated to before 1720, possibly rebuilt in 1780s. Converted in 2022.
It is large for the area, with shippons at each end with a threshing floor between. Old photo
B12. Town Head Lathe: Old photograph of Town Head Lathe from the collection of Heather Beaumont
B13 Knot Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B13. Knot Lathe - Probably demolished between about 1850 and 1890, it is now the site of a shooting lodge
Probably demolished between about 1850 and 1890, it is now the site of a shooting lodge
B14 Rosemary Lathe Here Yes Converted House named Daisy Barn. Old photo
B14. Rosemary Lathe: Rosemary Lathe is towards the back on the right in this William Curtis postcard from the 1910s
B15 Flatts Lathe Here Yes Converted Next to Rosemary Cottage. Converted about 2015. Old photo
B15. Flatts Lathe: Flatts Lathe is at the end of Mount Pleasant in this Grimshawe's postcard from the 1900s
B16 Daisy Farm Lathe Here Yes Converted Opposite Rosemary Cottage. Converted about 2003 (Aerial photograph taken during conversion
Aerial photograph of Town Hill and Mount Pleasant taken at the time of Daisy Farm Lathe's conversion
). Old photo
B16. Daisy Farm Lathe: Daisy Farm Lathe is at the end of Mount Pleasant in this Grimshawe's postcard from the 1900s
B17 Here No Converted Now Flatts Farm garage. Built between about 1850 and 1890. Converted 1997. Old photo
B17: The lathe is behind East View in this Grimshawe's postcard from the 1900s
B18 New Dyke Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B18. New Dyke Lathe
One of two. Demolished after 1907
B19 New Dyke Lathe Here No Standing Photograph
B19. New Dyke Lathe - Built in 1875
One of two. Has a date stone of 1875
1875 date stone on New Dykes Lathe. The 'RB' probably stands for Ralph Bowdin
, which matches map data
B20 Hebden Hall Lathe(?) Here Yes Standing Photograph
B20. Hebden Hall Lathe(?) - Older small cottage on right. Photo: Clive Linley
Added on to a small cottage.
B21 Here Yes Converted Photograph
B21. - Now attached to Crag Cottage, it pre-dates the cottage and used to be separate from it. It had an exterior porch
Built before Crag Cottage, and joined when converted c.1977. Once had an exterior porch. Photo: Rosemary Howard. Old photo
B21: It can be seen behind right-hand end of the CHA building. It still had an exterior porch. Photo about 1913
- Old photo
B21: Barn adjoining Crag Cottage before it was converted. Photo lateish 1950s
B22 Here Yes Gone Taken down in the 1950s?. Old photo
B22: It can be seen between the CHA building and Hebden Hall centre-right. Photo about 1913
B23 Here Yes Gone Photograph
B23.
Demolished between about 1850 and 1890
B24 Lythe Flat Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B24. Lythe Flat Lathe
B25 Here Yes Converted Photograph
B25.
Now Mill Barn. Converted about 2009. Old photo
B25: Old photograph of Mill Lathe (centre) taken in the 1900s
B26 Here Yes Gone Photograph
B26. - Near Scar Top, it was demolished between about 1850 and 1890
Demolished between about 1850 and 1890
B27 Knowles Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B27. Knowles Lathe - demolished in about 2008, only the ruins of the midden remain
Demolished about 2008, and stone used for Scale Haw. Old photo
B27. Knowles Lathe: Knowles Barn from a photograph taken in the early 1980s by David Green of Dalescape
B28 Petty Side Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B28. Petty Side Lathe
B29 Knowles Upper Laithe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B29. Knowles Upper Laithe - it collapsed in the 1970s
Collapsed in the 1970s, with some stones and slates recycled at Hole Bottom. Ruins remain. Old photo
B29. Knowles Upper Laithe: A Dalescape photograph by David Green taken in the early 1980s.
B30 Here Yes Standing Photograph
B30. - A small barn on Tinker's Lane, it may have been built as the result of the Enclosure Award
Built between 1853 and 1894, it has a inscription
Inscription above a shippon door - possible 'WM'
above a shippon door
B31 Coppergill Barn Here Yes Gone Photograph
B31. Coppergill Barn - Demolished between about 1850 and 1890, there is little sign of it now
Demolished between about 1850 and 1890
B32 Kiln Lathe Here Yes Converted Old photo
B32. Kiln Lathe: Kiln Lathe can be seen above and to the right of Saxelby House and below Scar Top House. Photo about 1913
B33 Here Yes Standing Photograph
B33.
Near High Dene - the main door has been modified and one of the shippon doors filled in
B34 Bridge Barn Here Yes Converted Converted in 2004. Now known as Orchard House. Old photo
B34. Bridge Barn: Bridge Barn is bottom left in this William Curtis postcard from the 1910s
B35 Scala Glen Barn Here Yes Converted Photograph
B35. Scala Glen Barn
Converted about 1983. Old photo
B35. Scala Glen Barn: Taken in the 1900s, this photograph shows the Barn without the rounded extension and Scala Glen Cottage
- Old photo
B35. Scala Glen Barn: A Dalescape photograph by David Green taken in the early 1980s.
B36 West Croft Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B36. West Croft Lathe - Demolished between about 1846 and 1850
Demolished between about 1846 and 1850
B37 North Barn Here Yes Converted Photograph
B37. North Barn - Rose Bank Farm. Converted about 2007. Photo: George Cooney
Rose Bank Farm. Converted about 2007. Old photo
B37. North Barn: North Barn is at the back of the complex with the croft behind
B38 South Barn Here Yes Converted Photograph
B38. South Barn - Rose Bank Farm. Converted about 2007. Photo: George Cooney
Rose Bank Farm. Converted about 2007 (Photo taken during conversion
Photo of South Barn taken during its conversion about 2007
). Old photo
B38. South Barn: South Barn is adjoining the terrace with North Barn behind
B39 Court Croft Barn Here Yes Converted Converted about 2002. Now known as Green Farm Barn. Old photo
B39. Court Croft Barn: Old photograph of Court Croft Barn taken in the 1930s
B40 Croft House Barn Here Yes Converted Photograph
B40. Croft House Barn
Converted about 1994. Now known as Lady Croft Barn. Old photo
B40. Croft House Barn: Croft House Barn is half way up and to the right of the church. Photo about 1913
B41 Saxelby Home Barn Here Yes Converted Converted 2005. Now known as Prospect Lathe
B42 Saxelby Barn Here Yes Standing Photograph
B42. Saxelby Barn
Burnt down in 1889, and rebuilt by Mary Anne Hird. It has an inscription
Inscription above the main door "Burnt Down and Rebuilt. MAH. 1889"
above the main door. Old photo
B42. Saxelby Barn: Saxelby Barn is in the centre, with Saxelby Farm to its left
B43 Whips Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B43. Whips Lathe
Extended and altered in 1880 by Thomas Stockdale
B44 Low Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B44. Low Lathe
B45 Brow Top Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B45. Brow Top Lathe
B46 Ratlock Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B46. Ratlock Lathe
B47 Preston Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B47. Preston Lathe
B48 Jacky Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B48. Jacky Lathe
Demolished in 1992, with stone used for garage at Highfield. Some flags line the wall next to the site
B49 West Gate Lathe Here Yes Gone Photograph
B49. West Gate Lathe - The sad remnants...
Collapsed in the 1980s. Stone re-used
B50 Bents Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B50. Bents Lathe
Called 'Dacres Lathe' on 1853 OS map
B51 John Lathe Here Yes Converted Photograph
B51. John Lathe
Conversion in progress (2022)
B52 Scuff Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B52. Scuff Lathe - with a hay rake standing outside
Retains many original features
B53 Bank Top Lathe Here Yes Standing Photograph
B53. Bank Top Lathe
B54 Scar Side Lathe Here Yes Converted Converted about 1987. Now known as Hedgehog House. Old photo
B54. Scar Side Lathe: A Dalescape photograph by David Green taken in the early 1980s.

(54 barns)