Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme finished in early 2024 with projects successfully delivered by a wide range of project partners, community groups and individuals. 
Over the coming months, we’ll be updating this site to highlight what’s been achieved, so please keep checking back.

Welcome …

… to the Westmorland Dales website.

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme aimed to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. Specifically, its objectives were to:

  • Reveal the area’s hidden heritage.
  • Conserve what makes the area special.
  • Engage people in enjoying and benefitting from their heritage.
  • Sustain the benefits of the scheme in the long-term.

This was achieved through a programme of projects developed and delivered through the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership, led by Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and mainly funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It ran over a five-year period from March 2019 to February 2024.

Here you can discover what makes the area so special, find out about the scheme’s projects, and view and download resources produced.

The Westmorland Dales

The Westmorland Dales is a beautiful area of Cumbria lying  north of the Howgill Fells and within the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It stretches from Tebay in the south-west to Kirkby Stephen in the east and to Maulds Meaburn in the north-west. At its heart are the limestone fells above Orton and Asby, rich in natural and cultural heritage, and with magnificent views to the Pennines, the Howgills and the Lakeland fells. It drains into the Lune river catchment to the south and the Eden river catchment to the north. Relatively overlooked compared with its better-known neighbours, our projects have aimed to reveal its heritage for more to enjoy without detracting from its unique qualities. (Click on map for larger image)

Contact information

Friends of the Lake District
Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 7SS
Main Telephone:  01539 720788
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Yoredale, Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3EL
Main Telephone:  01969 652300

A survey of all the key settlements, led by the cultural heritage trainee, engaging local volunteers to record features like churn stands, gate stoops and date stones which help give the area its distinctive character.

A small scale heritage features survey of 7 settlements undertaken by volunteers will be carried out to inform records, interpretation and restoration.

Project lead: Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Delivery Team

The Westmorland Dales is characterised by limestone geology and calcareous uplands, extensive pre-historic remains, many scheduled monuments, farm buildings and a distinctive pattern of drystone walls as well as smaller-scale features such as lime kilns and churn stands. Due to the largely pastoral landscape it has remained unchanged for hundreds of years with Medieval settlements in the valleys and the historic village of Tebay on the western boundary. 

The small scale heritage features survey will focus on the medieval settlements of Orton, Maulds Meaburn, Crosby Ravensworth, Great Asby, Crosby Garrett, Ravenstonedale and Newbiggin-on-Lune. These settlements are well dispersed throughout the project area and offer a good sample of the small-scale landscape features that can be found across the Westmorland Dales and contribute to an area’s sense of place and local identity. 

The surveys will focus on a total survey area of 5km, inside the perimeters of the medieval occupation associated with each settlement as recorded on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Historic Environment Record (YDNPA HER). There are 264 monument records within the YDNPA HER recorded across the survey area, including three Scheduled Monuments and 73 Listed Buildings. During the development Phase, trialling the methodology revealed a further 26 new features within the village of Orton that were not previously recorded on the YDNPA HER highlighting the urgent need for further survey. 

The survey will focus on small scale and utilitarian heritage features, identifying vernacular styles and local materials that contribute to local distinctiveness, a sense of place and local identity. Examples include milestones, boundary markers, sign posts, churn stands, wells, stepping stones, bridges, gathering pens, pole gate stoups, sheep folds, stone troughs, hand water pumps and lime kilns.


  • To contribute to a greater understanding of the historic development of the study area and evaluate the nature, form, extent, date and condition of the surviving archaeological resource.
  • To provide professional support and 'hands-on' training in archaeological survey of built heritage to groups of local people, with the aim of promoting a greater appreciation and enjoyment of the heritage of the Westmorland Dales.

Summary Report

SSHF Summary Report (pdf)

Full Reports

sshftechnicalreport-orton (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-mauldsmeaburn (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-nateby (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-newbiggin-on-lune (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-crosbyravensworth (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-tebay (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-asby (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-ravenstonedale (pdf)

sshftechnicalreport-crosbygarrett (pdf)