Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership

The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme ran from March 2019 to February 2024. Its vision was to unlock and reveal the hidden heritage of the Westmorland Dales, enabling more people to connect with, enjoy and benefit from this inspirational landscape. 

Download the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme Summary Report for an overview of the Scheme's successes.


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

Traditional farm buildings are a distinctive feature of the Westmorland Dales landscape but they are also one of the most vulnerable types of historic building in the area. With dramatic changes in farming practices over the last 50 years, many farm buildings are now redundant and have therefore been demolished, left to decay or converted to other uses. 

Now, thanks to a grant scheme, some of the area’s most characteristic buildings will see in many more years and delight generations to come.

Financial support is being provided via the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme through its ‘Traditional Farm Building Grant Scheme’.

The grants are helping to fund restoration work to save some of the region’s most important cultural assets, raise their profile and reveal their heritage importance in the Westmorland Dales.

The grant scheme has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust. It is also supported by the Building Conservation Officers of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Pictured: Before (left) and after (right) images of field barn

Mike Appleton, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust said,

”Preserving our natural and built heritage is important if we are to connect people to the past of this special area. We’re delighted to be able to help support these vital schemes and look forward to seeing these cultural places preserved for future generations.”

Work has recently been completed on a field barn at Pendragon Castle, owned by the Pendragon Estates. This is a small field barn, which would have contained a byre (cattle housing) and a mew (hay storage).

It is an interesting barn, partly due to the fact that it is on the castle site, and as such contains some quite historic built heritage, including well-cut stone that would have come from the castle itself (following its abandonment after the death of Lady Anne Clifford), and the rear wall that predates the rest of the barn structure and relates to a series of earthworks on the site.

Pictured: Before (left) and after (right) images of field barn

Hannah Kingsbury, Cultural Heritage Officer, Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme said,

“One of the special aspects of this project is not only restoring the buildings to survive another couple of hundreds of years, but also increasing everyone’s enjoyment and understanding of these buildings”.

As part of the works at Pendragon, blocked in square ventilation holes were revealed. Ventilation holes are useful indicators to the layout of a building. As for instance, they will be found where the hay is stored, but not where the cattle is housed.

Works were required to the walls – pinning gaps and the addition of mortar – as well as to the roof – the replacement of a damaged roof timber, and the replacement of cracked ridge tiles.

John Bucknall, owner,

“Essential repairs were becoming necessary. And I have been delighted with the work. In particular the high quality of the work to the walls of this humble building. Not only is the lime pointing beautiful in itself but the stonework is transformed and sings the story of its history”.

Work is now underway on a second barn situated along the coast-to-coast route near Orton, in need of structural repair.