Prehistory in Nidderdale

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Raygill House Farm

Raygill House, high on the west flank of Upper Nidderdale above the village of Ramsgill, was mentioned in documents of the medieval era when it was held by Byland Abbey, a Cistercian monastery near Helmsley thirty miles away to the east. It has been presumed to have been used at that time as a "pastoral outstation" which at 290 metres above sea level and in a very rugged landscape suggests sheep rather than cattle.

There is no obvious architectural feature from the monastic era on the modern farmstead but the remains of an old barn may give some clues. However, there are one or two typically medieval field walls and other features too such as a grove of ancient coppiced alder trees and a bridge and dam that could date from the Middle Ages.


There are also the remains of enclosures and hut circles that confirm the existence of pre-historic settlement and it is these that are of particular interest to Prehistoric Nidderdale.

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Prehistoric Enclosures

A Hut Circle with a View