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Field barns or laithes are a distinctive feature of the Yorkshire Dales landscape. Barns were used as a combination of cattle housing and fodder storage.
You’ll notice that most are in fields and hay meadows, away from main farm buildings. Hay was stored on the first floor, ready to feed the cattle on the lower floor. Muck from the cattle could then be spread on the hay meadows ready for the next crop. This saved farmers the effort of carrying hay or muck to and from the main farmstead.
In Swaledale you'll hear people refer to "cow'uses" or cow houses, which were the subject of a recent Yorkshire Dales National Park project. Watch this lovely short film to find out more.