Abandoned Dales village is preserved after new features discovered by dig

A conservation project to protect newly exposed features of an abandoned village in the Dales has been completed.

The abandoned village of Lodge. Picture: Yorkshire Water

The hamlet of Lodge, in Upper Nidderdale, was a grange farm for the Cistercian abbey of Byland, which was sold into private ownership following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.

It was occupied until 100 years ago when the Bradford Water Works Corporation built Scar House reservoir nearby and asked farmers to leave, as a precaution against contaminating the water supply.

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The settlement exists now as an outline of fallen dry-stone walls where houses once stood.

A two-week archeological dig last year uncovered a previously unknown pathway, as well as stone-flagged floors and a cast iron kitchen range manufactured in the late 19th century by Todds of Summerbridge, 10 miles further down the dale.

A cobbled path was revealed by accident, by the tyres of a quad bike being used to remove stone.

Robert Light, a project officer for Historic Nidderdale, said: “Having uncovered some brilliant archaeology that helps us understand so much more about the lost village of Lodge, it was important we put time and effort into conserving them for future generations.

“Our latest work will secure the future of the main building we worked on, known as Middle Share, by using traditional lime mortar to point the walls. We have also created carved marker stones bearing the names of some of the buildings so people can see what they are looking at.”