Yarnbury Settlement, Grassington, North Yorkshire

Settlement:  OS Grid Reference – SE 012 655

Getting Here

Dead easy.  Take the road up through Grassington village, up Moor Lane, onto the grassy tops towards Yarnbury.  As the road levels out, and before you reach the tree-border of Yarnbury house, there’s a field on your left-hand side, opposite the one where the Yarnbury Henge lives.  If y’ go in there to check out this walling, shut the effing gate!

Archaeology & History

Section of walling, Yarnbury
Section of walling, Yarnbury

It appears that there’s little information on the remains of what seems to be some Iron Age walling a few hundred yards away, northwest of the little Yarnbury ‘henge’ monument.  Mikki Potts noticed it first of all, in one of the Northern Antiquarian ambles here t’other day.  The walling is quite distinct and typical of finds elsewhere, particularly the excessive Iron Age and Bronze Age walling remains less than a mile west of here, down the slopes near Grasssington.  At least two lines of walling are clearly apparent, running roughly northeast-southwest.  Another section runs off towards the extant walling back towards the road.  But more intriguing (for me anyway!), is what seems to be the remains of an old circle less than 100 yards north, on the other side of the footpath in the same field.

We didn’t spend too much time here and so another visit is obviously needed for further exploratory wanderings, but there appear to be further remains.  Although much of the terrain hereabouts is scattered with an excess of medieval archaeological relics — including some disused shafts at the very top of this same field — this section of walling has all the hallmarks of a much earlier period.  (sadly, a lot of the early mine-workings up here has destroyed a considerable amount our earlier prehistoric heritage).  As one local told us a a coupla weeks back, “There’s loadsa stuff up here which aint in the record books!”

Certainly seems like it!

(In the event that these remains turn out to be of a later period, this profile entry will be removed from TNA.)

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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2 thoughts on “Yarnbury Settlement, Grassington, North Yorkshire”

  1. Grassingtin/Yarnbury Moor is a very difficult area to interpret given the Lead working industry that goes back to at least the pre-Roman period. The stones you mention are more than likely part of an Iron/Bronze Age enclosure – the monastic enclosures used a different technique (see walling around Lower Winskill, above Stainforth).

    Arthur Raistrick did a great deal of work around Grassington – survey work in YAJ

    Alan King wrote a good field guide to the area – ‘EARLY PENNINE SETTLEMENT’, Dalesman

    Alan is still active – can be contacted through Malham Field Centre

  2. Alan is still active – can be contacted through Malham Field Centre

    Now that IS a good idea! Got his work + the Raistrick material (not a lot I don’t have tbh John!) & went thru those + other works before adding the site; but it seemed typical of the many other prehistoric sites I’ve seen. I checked a few places on-line and emailed a few folk, but just got the expected limited responses from archaeo’s & Trusts alike. Mi walking boots are gonna be on tomorrow & think I’m gonna rough it in the Dales for a night or 2, checking a few places out.

    Thanks John!

    Cheers – Paul

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