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Medieval Dacre

Fountains Abbey was established in 1132 and it is known that Dacre was under its control by 1145 remaining as a grange until the suppression of the abbey in 1539. The medieval settlement appears to have been centred initially on what is now known locally as Dacre Top, a bit exposed on the ridge at 150 metres but a lttle more sheltered than the earlier settlements that were probably abandoned by this time. There are several references in the Abbey records to iron smelting at Dacre  which, in conjunction with archaeological remains such as the culvert shown below give the distinct impression that it was an organised and important industrial location.


Earlier investigations by WEA and community archaeology groups identified some evidence of monastic iron making and since 2008 membersof Iron-Age(Nidderdale) have carried out more detailed work  on features that imclude bloomery furnaces, charcoal clamp sites, ore roasting hearths and a widespread and complex water management system, part of which is the the culvert shown below. These features confirm that there was considerable monastic investment in Dacre as an industrial centre.

HLFNL_2747 ,48cm Culvert HPIM0616a

Medieval Culvert and Bank, Dacre Pasture

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