The pattern of barns and dry stone walls in Upper Swaledale is recognised as being one of the most distinctive agricultural landscapes in Western Europe.

Besides being such an important part of the landscape the barns provide a fascinating insight into the agricultural, economic and social history of the area, helping to tell the stories of rural life over the last 250 years.

The aim of the project is to work with local people, businesses and visitors to record, interpret and share the history and stories of field barns in Upper Swaledale.

It will complement two other programmes that focus on barns and their heritage:

  • A programme of physical restoration and repair for some of the most significant barns in Muker Parish (funded by a legacy)
  • Trialling the implementation of changes to planning policy, which will widen the options for use of some barns

The main activities of the project will be

  • Researching and recording the history of barns in Muker Parish
  • Organising training events for people who are interested in learning more about the architecture, structure and history of barns in the area
  • Providing opportunities for local people and visitors to hear, see and share the stories of the barns. This could be for example, barns guided walks, school resources, leaflets, videos exhibitions, and events.

The every Barn Tells a Story Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with Contributions from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.


Usha Gap photos

The Every Barn Tells a Story project is now drawing to a close with just a few more things like the school work pack and our videos to be finished off. We’re always delighted to see how people are using the resources we’ve already produced of course, and loved these photos of our cowhouse posters …