Vital role of field barns in Yorkshire landscape

REGARDING Peter Johnston's original question: "Why do through stones project on the outside walls of field barns?", over the last few weeks, several possible conclusions have been put forward in this letters column, some credible, others verging on "rocket science".

The answer to the question, and, more importantly, how and when these iconic field barns were constructed, can be found in Barns of the Yorkshire Dales by Andy Singleton and David Joy, who give the history, preservation and detailed accurate account of their construction.

My interest stems from being a volunteer member of the Upper Wharfedale dry stone walling group of the National Trust.

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Over the last 10 years, we have worked in many areas of the Dales and still wonder at the construction and the vital part field barns play in the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.

In fact, should you wish to know about the full history of dry stone walls and this ancient craft which resulted in hundreds of miles being built, using very few tools, but lots of hard graft, and skills, I commend another excellent book, Yorkshire Dales Stonewaller by

Geoff Lund, a lifetime professional waller, and photographer. No wonder that tourists and Yorkshire folk stand in awe.

From: Barry V Brand, Croft Rise, Menston, Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

From: Malcolm Bott, Hensall, Goole.

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In Country Week on October 9, Nicholas Rhea puzzles over a strange inscription on a stone at Nether Silton.

According to an AA book Secret Britain (published 1986) the letters are thought to stand for:

Here the grand old manor house stood,

The black beams were oak, the great walls were good;

The walls of the east wing are hidden here.

A thatched cottage like a barn was here erected year AD1765

A wide porch spans a yard and alcove.

It was carved on Squire Hickes's orders in the 18th century.

My wife and I visited the site, but the stone was in a private field behind the church, so we were unable to get close enough to see the inscription.