Local History & Vernacular Buildings

Local History & Vernacular Buildings2023-09-19T15:29:12+01:00


Local History and Vernacular Buildings are two subjects, but as they are so closely intertwined they are treated as one Group.

We have especial interest in all local history, through all aspects of industry including farming, milling and mining and the associated buildings. We also investigate social history from peasant to aristocrat, early trading, tracks and coach routes.


We often study village profiles, the social and structural development, which regularly presents evidence from early history through to modern times. Churches are great sources of history, with records of families and events, and we attempt to identify early stonework and restorations in these long-standing buildings, some as early as 13th century.


There is much seriously interesting vernacular architecture in North Yorkshire, from barns and cottages to manorial houses and castles. Also, structural features such as icehouses, hennery/piggeries, root stores, holy wells, and many early industrial remnants are located and noted. We gain great pleasure in identifying features, noting datestones on properties with family initials, and mason’s marks.

The early work of the Group involved technical study of buildings, measuring, drawing, dating and recording floor plans and special features. These were submitted to the Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group and officially recorded, but we still retain all our archive files and material. However we eventually had fewer qualified members and fewer properties available to study, so adapted our interests, and are always glad to welcome members in our diverse pursuits.


Local History Visits

Here’s what is coming up soon.

UWFS Local History Group visit to Stirk House and Gisburn

UWFS Local History Group visit to Downham village

UWFS Local History Group visit to Parcevall Hall




Group Visits

Wherever possible, we arrange field trips, and attend day-courses or lectures in order to acquaint ourselves with local knowledge. With the Vernacular Buildings Study Group we share a special interest in studying the historical associations of local buildings, since ‘sticks and stones’ can never tell the whole story. The Summer Programme of Visits can be found on the Vernacular Buildings Page of this website

For those who cannot get out into the field as much or as often as others, there are a wealth of other activities, such as documentary research. We also study the heraldry associated with local Yorkshire families and medieval churches, and we visit reference libraries, museums and exhibitions.
Above all, we are amateurs who enjoyed the study of Local History and welcome others to enrich us with their special interests.


Contact Us

If you have any questions for the Upper Wharfedale Field Society, or you just want to get on touch, please contact us below.

    Go to Top