|Dr Douglas Mitcham gave a fascinating talk about the Dairy Days Project in general and the excavations of stack garths in Wensleydale in particular.
The Dairy Days project aims to research and share the story of the industry that helped shaped Wensleydale’s landscape and which still plays such an important part in the local economy. The project is funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority with a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
As part of this project there is an exhibition at the DCM in Hawes where Jane Sammells is conducting demonstrations of home dairy skills. Dates for the demonstrations are:
Tuesday, October 08, 2019
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
The exhibition runs from 12 September to 31 December
The stackstands excavation took place in September at Floshes Hill near Hardraw where a team of volunteers, supported by YDNPA professionals investigated two stackstands and an adjacent field boundary. There is documentary evidence of Wensleydale stack garths going back to the 15th century. Robert White argued that they were the precursors to the field barns which proliferated in the area.
Sadly no conclusive dating evidence arose from the excavation, but further work in this area may be planned. There was an interesting discussion about the use of stack garths for grain crops and/ or hay making. Some people believe that stacks were thatched to protect them from the weather.
Many thanks to Doug for an enjoyable evening.