Dales Unveiled by Sue Dewhurst

The field barns of the Yorkshire Dales often inspire people in different ways. A local artist, Sue Dewhurst, has created an exhibition of her own paintings that display the beauty that she sees in the barns of the Dales amongst other amazing aspects of the area. The exhibition, entitled ‘Dales Unveiled’ features many familiar barns from within the Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Barns and Walls Conservation Area. The paintings are currently on display in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Offices in Bainbridge and will remain there until mid-December. Entry is free so pop in during office hours, Monday to Friday, and take a look at this wonderful collection.


For more information about Sue Dewhurst and her collection visit http://www.suedewhurst.co.uk/


Photo credit: Sue Dewhurst (https://en-gb.facebook.com/SueDewhurstArtist/)

Surveying Traditional Farm Buildings

A few of our volunteers recently attended a workshop in surveying traditional farm buildings. Being able to survey and record the field barns in Swaledale is integral in being able to protect the barns (and other traditional farm buildings) that make the area one of the largest conservation areas in the country! The volunteers were lucky enough to be learning about traditional farm buildings from expert, Robert White, who is also YDNPA’s previous Senior Historic Environment Officer.

This workshop taught skills in recording, measuring and describing historic farm buildings which they can then use to survey barns independently. The information that they collect will then be submitted to our Historic Environment Record so that the condition of the buildings can be monitored over time.

Another two-day surveying workshop is being held at Keld Resource Centre the weekend of 20th and 21st of May and we still have a couple of places left. If you would like to come along please email either rebecca.cadbury-simmons@yorkshiredales.org.uk or miles.johnson@yorkshiredales.org.uk.

Digital Photogrammetry

At a recent workshop volunteers learnt the merits of using digital photogrammetry to record traditional field barns (as well as other archaeological features). They had the opportunity to get out to a nearby field barn to have a go at photographing a barn themselves. Unfortunately the weather was changeable and the differing light levels made it difficult to get pictures without lots of contrast. However, with a bit of practice (and some editing) the product was a successful model of a local field barn (cow’us), Shot Lathe, near Keld.



“The Little Houses in the Fields”

Over the winter we have been collecting memories from local people about the cow’usses they remember using when they were younger. Our Interpretation Officer, Karen Griffiths is now ready to start sharing these stories. Her first project is to produce a postcard for visitor businesses to hand out when they get asked what the little houses in the fields are for – this happens a lot apparently. She’s been testing out some layouts in the office today – there’s still a use for good old glue and scissors…




Every Barn Makes a Model

Part of the project, ‘Every Barn Tells a Story’ is to record the field barns (or Cow’uses) within Muker Parish. Many field barns will be recorded through visits by volunteers who we plan to train during the Spring of 2016.  One part of the Heritage Lottery Funding that the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) was awarded for this project was allocated to buy software that  allows the creation 3D digital models of the barns from photographs. On Friday, YDNPA’s Senior Historic Environment Officer, Miles Johnson, led a workshop on this software at Keld Resource Centre for some of our volunteers who live in the area.

The process of creating a 3D digital model is called digital photogrammetry, and involves taking a number of photographs of a building, and then processing them with a program called Agisoft Photoscan, which creates the digital model. The morning started with a presentation on what photogrammetry was, how it worked, and how we could use it, both for EBTAS and for other community heritage projects. This was followed by the volunteers, supervised by some of YDNPA’s staff, visiting a nearby field barn (with the landowners permission) and taking photographs.

Finally, everyone put their photographs into the software and had a look at how their models turned out. One out of the three submitted sets of photographs did not process properly and the software did not fully recognise the shape of the barn. Neverthelesss, the other two attempts produced accurate models, that with a little editing will create a good model. Due to time constraints, the models were not processed at high resolution, and are presented here unedited. Some of the images show areas where the software has been unable to differentiate between the barn and the sky – this can with a little time be edited out afterwards. Screenshots of one of the models can be seen here, notice how much detail has been recorded. The models can provide a very accurate record of a building that is suitable for further analysis, and with a little further work we will be sharing them as interactive models online.


If you have any questions about the project, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the form below.

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