A conservation project undertaking works to protect some of the most vulnerable heritage sites in the project area including Pendragon Castle, Smardale Limekilns, Crosby Ravensworth Barrow and Shieling.

Project lead: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

The extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park in August 2016 enlarged its spatial area by 25% but increased the number of protected archaeological sites (scheduled monuments) within the National Park by close to 50%.  The project area contains a number of highly important and visually iconic archaeological sites.  For a range of reasons, a small number of these are recorded as being at ‘at risk’ on the Historic England heritage at Risk register. 

The project focuses on four sites, three of which are ‘at risk’ sites and one vulnerable complex:

  • Smardale limekilns (part of NHLE 1021107 and 1145018)-‘at risk’
  • A bowl barrow at Crosby Ravensworth (NHLE 1007603)- ‘at risk’
  • A Sheiling (NHLE 1007596)-‘at risk’
  • Pendragon Castle (NHLE 1144890 and 1007156), is currently vulnerable and has given concerns about the safety of parts of the monument. 

Pendragon Castle and the Smardale Kilns are publicly accessible and frequently visited heritage sites.  The former railway line in Smardale Gill is a well used walking route, managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and consolidation of the monument will help to ease concerns about public safety at the kilns. The two smaller earthwork complexes are nationally important archaeological sites that are better understood and where the conservation requirements and risks are now clear as a consequence of the development stage project. 

Work undertaken through the development stage has entailed the commissioning and execution of detailed archaeological surveys of the sites above, conservation plans and costings to be produced.

  • Smardale Limekilns- conservation recommendations , detailed conservation specifications, outline costing for the conservation work and an initial wildlife survey has also been undertaken.
  • Pendragon castle - Survey work complements an existing outline conservation management plan commissioned by the owner, and has resulted in conservation recommendations.
  • Crosby Ravensworth monuments - Works required to conserve the monuments are likely to be low key and are suitable to be led by NPA staff, working in conjunction with volunteers.

Project Purpose

  • To protect and conserve 4 vulnerable heritage sites in the Westmorland Dales- Smardale Limekilns, Pendragon Castle, Crosby Ravensworth Sheiling and Barrow.
  • To increase awareness, understanding and enjoyment of these unique heritage sites.