The Automobile Association started to install their network of sentry boxes across the UK in 1912. This was when driving was in its infancy and the newly invented motor car broke down quite frequently. The first AA boxes did not include telephones but were shelters for patrolmen who were ready to help any motorists in case of breakdowns or to offer directions and first aid.
Eventually the patrolmen disappeared and telephones were fitted into the boxes. Members of the AA were given a key so they could make free calls. Mobile phones gradually rendered this unnecessary and most AA boxes were removed.
There are now fewer than 20 boxes still in existence in the UK, and box number 442 on the A684 is one of just 8 that has been listed, to preserve it as one of the Dales' many distinctive landmarks. It's mainly thanks to volunteers that the iconic box is well-maintained, with small gardens on either side.
Nearby is another small garden worth visiting - the Aysgarth Rock Garden. Take a look too at this unusual use for a former telephone kiosk in Settle.