New lease of life for 17th century farm cottage after revamp

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A DILAPIDATED 17th century farmhouse in the Yorkshire Dales has been restored to its former glory after years of decline.

Top Building at Hall Farm at Gammersgill, a Grade II listed building, was on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) “at risk” register.

But it has now been given a new lease of life thanks to a £40,000 revamp.

The YDNPA’s planning policy officer, Thomas Harland, said: “This building dates back to the 17th century and is an excellent example of how buildings in the Dales have evolved over time.

“It started life as a house, later being extended and divided into two cottages, before becoming an agricultural building. It had some structural problems however, so there was a risk that, if left, we might have ended up losing this valuable building.

“The authority has funded some essential work to make it safe, which means it is no longer on our at risk register and it can continue to be used.

“We will also be using it for educational purposes so other people can enjoy it and learn about its history.”

There are more than 1,800 listed buildings in the national park, of which 64 are on the at risk register with another 126 being classed as “vulnerable”.

Over the years, the YDNPA has worked with owners, volunteers, English Heritage, Natural England and other partners to conserve a number of the buildings.

The YDNPA’s member champion for cultural heritage, Graham Dalton, said: “We’ve made good progress in tackling our at risk buildings. Since 2006 we’ve successfully resolved 54 cases.

“Unfortunately, many of the remaining 64 cases are particularly complex, involving issues with landownership, legal covenants, together with the sheer amount of investment, time and energy needed to bring these buildings back into a suitable state of repair.

“Gammersgill is a good example of co-operation with the landowner to achieve an excellent outcome for our enduring heritage.

“We need to continue to help owners to resolve the issues with their buildings.”