Friday, August 6, 2010

Crackpot Hall, Swaledale, North Yorkshire UK

Crackpot Hall, Swaledale., originally uploaded by bingleyman2.

The ruins of Crackpot Hall lie about a mile east of Keld on the northern slope of the dale at grid reference NY906008. There may have been a building on this site since the 1500s when ahunting lodge was maintained for Thomas, the first Baron Wharton, who visited the Dale occasionally to shoot the red deer. Survey work by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has shown that the building has changed many times over the years. At one time it even had a heather or "ling" thatched roof.
The current ruin is of a farmhouse dating from the mid 1700s. It was an impressive two story building with a slate roof and matching "shippons" or cow sheds at each end for animals. The building may also have been used as mine offices, as intensive lead mining was carried out in the area, and there were violent disputes over mine boundaries in the 18th century.
The current building was abandoned in the 1950s because of subsidence. Crackpot Hall has been saved from further decay by Gunnerside Estate with the aid of grants from the Millennium Commission and European Union through the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.In the 1930s Ella Pontefract and Marie Hartley wrote of a wild 4-year-old child living here by the name of Alice.
The name Crackpot is said to be Viking for "a deep hole or chasm that is a haunt of crows"..

Keld is a hamlet in the English county of North Yorkshire. It is situated on Birkdale, in the Yorkshire Dales. The name derives from the Viking word Kelda meaning a spring, and the village was once called Appletre Kelde - the spring near the apple trees.

Keld is the crossing point of the Coast to Coast Walk and the Pennine Way long distance footpaths at the head of Swaledale. Unfortunately it does not contain a shop. There was a Youth Hostel but this closed in October 2006; the building has since reopened as Keld Lodge, a hotel with bar and restaurant.

There is a series of four waterfalls close to Keld at a limestone gorge on the River Swale. These are Kisdon Force, East Gill Force, Catrake Force and Wain Wath Force.

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