The Big Laithe, Nappa MYD34280 (c) YDNPA, 2023
This large stone barn was built sometime during the first half of the 19th century and was part of the Nappa Hall estate. The word ‘laithe’ meaning barn, is of Anglo-Scandinavian origin and is more usually applied to field barns in the Craven area of the National Park. The Big Laithe is two storeys high and has an irregular H-plan. It housed hay and lived up to its name with winter accommodation for up to 40 milking cows, a much larger number than any other Dales barn. It indicates that dairying was being carried out on a large scale on this estate. There was also space for the processing and storage of corn, showing that even at this late date, crops were still being grown in this part of Wensleydale.
Interior of The Big Laithe, Nappa MYD34280 (c) YDNPA, 2023
Location From Askrigg take the road towards Carperby and Leyburn. Take first turning on right almost immediately after leaving the village. Low Gate is a single track road with passing places, after 400 metres take turning on left onto Thwaite Holme Lane. After a little less than half a mile there is a bridge signed "Weak Bridge"; the footpath starts by the barn at the eastern end of this bridge. Go over the stile and follow the middle finger of the signpost towards ? & Aysgarth. Follow the path across a level field: at the far end the path dips to cross the access track beneath the former railway which is now around five metres to the south. Pass through wooden stile. Path from here is actually on the former trackbed. After about 300 metres you reach a place where the river comes very close to the path. Immediately afterwards there is a low embankment to the left. The building may be seen to good advantage from the highest point of this embankment. The laithe is easily visible from a point on the A684 about 1 kilometre east of Worton.
Public Transport Details Nearest town/village: Askrigg. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.
Accessibility Stone stile with steps and gate. Low wooden squeeze stile. Rabbit holes in former trackbed. Mud on trackbed. Gate with wire stretched across just above ground level (easy to trip on this). Some roots.