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Malhamdale Local History Group  

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Millennium Project
for the
Township of Otterburn





  • Malham Moor
  • Malham
  • Kirkby Malham
  • Hanlith
  • Scosthrop
  • Airton
  • Calton
  • Otterburn



During 1999 the Malhamdale Local History Group undertook a project to record all the houses and community spaces that existed in the parish of Kirkby Malhamdale.

It was decided that this record would consist of a black and white photograph plus brief details about the building or occupiers which were known to either the Group or the then occupiers. Permission was sought from all the occupiers, who were also encouraged to fill in a form recording anything they knew about the history of their property and who had lived there previously.

The results of this project were exhibited in the Dale before being placed in the Group's archive, with a second copy of the records presented to Craven Museum for their collection.

A decade on we are now sharing this early KMLHG project via the website. The text has been lightly edited, with any known mistakes corrected.

We hope you enjoy browsing the gallery.

The Millennium project is under maintenance and only Otterburn and Calton are available at present.





BecksideHouse; BodkynHouse; Chestnut Cottage; Elm Cottage; Glencross House; Grove Farm; Grove House; Hall Barn; Hill House; Hill Place; Hurries Farm; Kendal House; Otterburn Hall; Otterburn House; Otterburn Lodge; Oak Cottage; Pine Cottage; Riverside Cottage;

The greater part of Otterburn once belonged to Fountains Abbey before the dissolution of the monasteries. In the year 2000 Otterburn consists of eighteen dwellings of which four are working farms. Seven of the dwellings are conversions of former farm buildings, and one house is of recent construction. The population consists of thirty one adults and nine children. The majority of the houses are clustered close to Otterburn Beck, a tributary of the River Aire, which is crossed by a stone bridge built to replace an earlier one in around 1813. It is assumed that the name Otterburn derives form otters frequenting the beck, but whether these now rare animals were ever particularly numerous here, is open to doubt.
The village has no shops, post office, public house or church. It would be very difficult to live in Otterburn today without a car as the only public transport is the post bus which passes through twice a day. During the heyday of the railways Bell Busk station just over a mile away was a very busy place used by the hundreds of day trippers en route for Malham and the Cove, as well as being used for the transportation of livestock and the production from the local mills.
In Domesday ‘Otreburne’ was included in the parish of Kirkby Malham, whereas today residents may well attend the closer St. Peter’s church at Coniston Cold. For shops or licensed premises, Hellifield or Gargrave are the nearest. Agriculture centres around cattle and sheep but with the necessary diversification in recent years, redundant farm buildings have been sold for dwellings. One farm is even diversifying into the rearing of rheas which are an added attraction on farm walks run in conjunction with the National Park.
Otterburn Hall
The Hall is an early 19th century house with rubble fill walls and a slate roof. The two storey building has three bays and a central doorway with a fanlight and pediment over.
The photograph shows a dry stone ha-ha bordering the garden. Back
Hall Barn
Hall barn was converted in 1987 by J.N. Hall of Coniston Cold from a barn and shippon belonging to Otterburn Hall. Back
Riverside Cottage
Riverside Cottage was built in the late 1990s and is of dressed stone construction. Back
Glencross House
Glencross House was converted from a barn and lean-to shippon in the 1970s. It was previously called Barndale. Back
Bodkyn House
Bodkyn house is a stone built house thought to have previously been a farm, built in the 1740s. Back
Beckside House
This was formerly a house with an adjoining cottage previously called Dufton House. It has now been restored to form one dwelling . Back
Grove House
Grove House was formerly an out barn called Common Nook relating to Grove Farm. There were three shippons and a main barn converted to a dwelling in approximately 1997. Back
Grove Farm
Grove farm is a building of dressed stone with a stone slate roof. Part was built around 1670 with other parts in the late 18th century. The building has some interesting stained glass windows and an old stone sink was uncovered in the kitchen. The current owners have been told that the site may have been a resting place for monks. Back
Oak Cottage
Oak Cottage is the last of a terrace of 4 cottages converted in 1986 by a Doncaster builder. It was converted from a farm building of a later date than those used for Elm, Chestnut and Pine Cottages. The garages adjoining Oak Cottage were converted from more out buildings of different dates, the final part thought to be only around 50 years old.
Oak Cottage is on the right of the photograph. Back
Pine Cottage
This is the third of a terrace of 4 cottages converted in 1986 by a Doncaster builder from old farm buildings used by Hill House. Pine and Chestnut Cottages are believed to have been converted from one barn though the date of the original building is not known. Back
Chestnut Cottage
This is the second of a terrace of 4 cottages converted in 1986, by a Doncaster builder, from old farm buildings used by Hill House. Chestnut and Pine Cottages are believed to have been converted from a barn which was built later than the stables which became Elm Cottage. Back
Elm Cottage
This is the first of a terrace of 4 cottages converted in 1986, by a Doncaster builder, from old farm buildings used by Hill House. The owners believe Elm Cottage was a free standing stable built approx. 270 years ago. It is a stone building with brick lining and rubble fill. The winch wheel is still in the wall in the upstairs room . Some of the brick walls have been exposed and the bricks are thought to have been made locally in Bell Busk or Otterburn. There is a pitch pine roof thought to be about 100 years old. Back
Hill House
Hill House was formerly a farm house using the farm buildings which have now been converted into Elm, Chestnut, Pine and Oak Cottages. There are some very lovely old cobbles at the back of the house. Back
Hill Place
Hill Place was formerly a farm cottage used with Otterburn Lodge. The building used to house an organ and was used for Kirkby Malham Church Sunday School in the 1950s Back

Otterburn House
Otterburn House was formerly a larger house with servants’ quarters which were demolished in the 1970s. Back
Otterburn Lodge
Otterburn Lodge is an early 19th century house with rubble fill walls and slate roof. It has two storeys with three bays and round headed doorway with fanlight. Back
Hurries Farm
Hurries is a working farm built around 1720 with rubble fill stone walls and stone slate roof. In recent years it has been in the ownership of the Wellock family. The current owner David B. Wellock Jnr. bought the farm from his father Richard Wellock of Bell Busk, who in turn had bought it from his brother David B. Wellock Snr. On the latter’s retirement David Wellock Snr. had bought it from Colonel Hastings Clay of Cross Stones, Airton. The previous owner was Mr Frank Waite who had bought from Dot Bolland in 1954. Back

Kendal House
Kendal House was inhabited until 1947 when it became almost derelict. Planning permission was obtained during the 1980’s and it has since been restored to its present form. Back
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