Old Dales records reveal life was no picnic for teachers

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Original parchment records of an old Dales home have been handed over for safekeeping.

The parchment and paper title deeds record the history of a house, dating back to the medieval period if not earlier, which still stands today in Main Street, Kirkby Malham.

Members of the Malhamdale Local History Group visited North Yorkshire’s County Record Office in Northallerton to hand over the recently discovered documents.

Keith Sweetmore, archives manager at the record office, said: “Even in the first deed, dated December 1660, the property is described as an “ancient dwelling ... called the old house” and this must place its origins in medieval times, if not earlier still.”

The Malhamdale group also presented a copy of a deed of 1717 to pay for a schoolmaster in Malham. Among other provisions, the document lays down that no schoolmaster “shall give himself to idleness, carding, dicing, drinking or any unlawful games or injurious vices and sins.”

County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, member for library and community and information services said: “The County Record Office is interested to hear from all communities in North Yorkshire about discoveries like this, which can 
be added to the archive collections.”

Further details of the Malhamdale Local History Group are available on its website at http://www.kirkbymalham.info/KMLHG/KMLHGhome.html.

For information about the county record office call 01609 777585.