Building a future for our iconic walls and barns   

November 12, 2020

Drystone walls, barns, stepping stones, fountains, milestones … the Yorkshire Dales landscape has a special heritage that makes it one of the most unique in the world.

Since 1996, we’ve helped to restore these iconic features to ensure future generations can enjoy them and understand their importance.

More recently, we’ve been involved with a great project to restore the shelter at the summit of Ingleborough.

Everybody who has climbed this iconic peak – some 723 metres high – knows how windy it can be on the summit.

The shelter has been a welcome place of refuge for thousands of walkers since it was installed in 1953 by Ingleton Fell Rescue to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in the same year.

It is also a very useful navigational landmark at the often-misty plateau.

Sadly, over the years, it has been damaged by the very elements it was designed to protect people from – and was in danger of falling into further disrepair.

Linking with the Trust, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority worked with Drystone Walling Association Master Craftsman Laurie Lambeth, of specialist stonework contractors Lambeth Stonework, to dismantle the shelter, replace the stone seats, and rebuild the wall ends.

A new, replica bronze toposcope was installed to finish the job – and it looks great too. Check out a video on the project here.

Don Gamble, Stories in Stone Scheme Manager, said: “I’m delighted we could fund the reconstruction of the shelter and replacement toposcope. The scheme has delivered around 170 projects but most of them have been in the valleys and settlements around the summit, so this project is literally a high point of the scheme! I’m sure the shelter will be appreciated by walkers for decades to come.”

Over the course of the Stories in Stone project, YDMT has worked with experts who have the specialist skills needed to rebuild close to three kilometres of drystone walls and ten stone field barns, and given historical milestones a makeover to maintain the Dales’ historical links.

Don added: “The built heritage features of the Dales are as iconic and important to people – residents and visitors alike – as the sweeping fells and peaks. There are some 5,000 miles of drystone wall and thousands of barns. They add enormously to the landscape character of the area and contribute to a sense of place.

“Because of the expertise involved they are often expensive projects to complete and your support is vital in helping us to continue this important work.”

A donation of £45 could restore a metre of drystone wall, enabling the land to be better managed for wildlife and keeping the Dales a special place. You can donate here.