Prehistory in Nidderdale

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Prehistoric Dacre

"Look for Dacre Village Hall, the garage or the parish church and you will find yourself in Dacre Banks, a thriving village on the floor of Nidderdale at approximately 100 metres above sea level  but seek the Providence Chapel and you will be directed to Dacre Top, a separate settlement three quarters of a mile away at 150 metres on the top of the ridge that separates Nidderdale from the valley of Darley Beck. Dacre Top is the local name for the community that is identified on the Ordnance Survey as Dacre and it has been acknowledged to be the original settlement even though it now has just a few houses and public facilities. These consist only of the Providence Chapel and school room of the United Reformed Church, public toilets, a bus stop and a telephone box. Confirming the status of Dacre Top as an ancient foundation are Dacre Hall that is known to have connections with the medieval era and field patterns that suggest a Dark Age settlement. It is clear that in earlier times the bracing ridge top location of Dacre was the best place to be and as conditions in the valley bottom improved the village has effectively migrated downhill to the more sheltered site with the result that an earlier subordinate settlement has become the centre of the community. One of the results of recent fieldwork, however, is to confirm that in prehistoric times the original settlement of Dacre was on an even higher part of the ridge. Most people today will choose the most sheltered location in which to create their homes but conditions were different then. . . . "

 

Abstract from an article prepared for the February 2010 edition of the journal of the Prehistoric Research Section of the Yokshire Archaeological Society.

 

Two other articles referring to other parts of Nidderdale are shown below.

Prehistoric Gouthwaite

Prehistoric Gouthwaite

an article prepared for the 2011 edition of the journal of the Prehistoric Research Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society

Raygill House Farm

An article prepared for the 2013 edition of the journal of the Prehistoric Research Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (published in February 2013)

Prehistoric Raygill