We know that people have lived here since Roman times. Some places rose to prominence for a while, often thanks to the riches from the wool trade or lead-mining. Then life changed and some of the villages and buildings that were once important, became less so. The beautiful little village of Wensley is a good example - it used to be a market town, the 'capital' of Wensleydale but after the plague in the 1500s many villagers moved away.
I'm fascinated by the way places change in fortune, the effort once put into buildings that belonged to people with wealth and that have since become abandoned.
There are romantic ruins all over the Yorkshire Dales, sometimes with ghost or other stories attached to them.
The front door lintel bears two initials and a date, which I think is 1668. Once upon a time someone was proud enough of their house to have their initials carved into it. The derelict building is now fenced off and dangerous to explore. Despite the trees growing from the inside though, you can still see features such as the enormous fire place where a family must have once gathered to cook and warm themselves. There are mullioned windows with chamfered sills. Such hope and plans must have gone into the building of this house, and it's now just a romantic ruin. No-one seems to know any of its history, why it was built here or what happened to its occupants. How can such a substantial building just lose its history?
What are the stories behind these abandoned houses in the Dales? Did the family linger through troubled times or was there a moment when they suddenly decided to move on? Why didn't anyone ever move into the house in their place? Will these beautiful buildings be gradually taken over by nature, with more trees growing through their roof? I guess we'll never know so I'll just carry on inventing my own stories.