We have puzzled and puzzled over a feature on Kelcliffe Lane at the top of the Park: four pillars with an iron bolt coming out of the top of each. Many of us remember a structure of wood across the top, and many thought, naturally, it was a seat. But, in good Time Team fashion, a seat didn’t make sense. Why, so close to a wall? Why no back? Why didn’t it have a better view? Why four pillars and so long? Did a line of people sit there?
Another suggestion was a toll booth, as there is signs of an old gate at this point of the lane. Then, of course, there is the whole odd structure of the triangular wall pointing into the Park, visible on a lot of old photographs; but not enough to really see what was going on. Is it a sheep fold? Is it a holding pen?
Well, a talk to Alan Pickles, has at least cleared up the four posts. They are the remains of a churn stand, used to leave milk churns for picking up by the local diary in the early part of the 20th Century. Such stands are now classed as part of the Yorkshire Dales agricultural archaeology as they are quite vulnerable to errosion, often standing close to a roadside. We are luck with this one, as it is next to a lane. It originally had something akin to a railway sleeper across the top, and the height was the same as the cart used to pick up the churn.
Well, that solves that one. But what about the strange triangular area? What was that for? Was that for a turn around? And, is there anyone who can actually draw, or even better has a picture, of what it looked like? We’d like to make sure we preserve these important aspects of the Park. Can you help us?