Raydale medieval sheepfold and washdub complex

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Sheep farming was an important element in the economy of a number of Medieval monastic houses in the Yorkshire Dales. Jervaulx Abbey owned extensive estates in Upper Wensleydale and field archaeologists have discovered the remains of a sheepfold and washdub complex that might have been part of these monastic holdings. The remains lie at the meeting point of Shaw Gate Gill and Cragdale Water in Raydale above Semerwater. Here sheep would have been gathered and their fleeces washed prior to shearing. The wool was sold as a valuable cash item.


Moorhouse, Stephen (2003) ‘The anatomy of the Yorkshire Dales: deciphering the medieval landscape’ in Manby, T G et al (eds) (2003) The Archaeology of Yorkshire: an assessment at the beginning of the 21st century. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 3 pp298-362


Take track (High Lane) running south 350 metres before entering Stalling Busk village. After 1 mile take permissive path (Conservation Walk) down to site (about 400 metres)

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Bainbridge. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Rough going, several stiles and steep incline down to site.