Swaledale Museum


All lectures will be held in Reeth Memorial Hall at 7.30 pm. 
Doors open at 7.00 pm, lectures 50-60 minutes with questions.
We anticipate great interest so we recommend booking in advance 
by e-mailing helen@swaledalemuseum.org  or calling 07969 823232

Friends of the Museum £4.00. Visitors £5.00. All welcome

Please watch the local press for occasional alterations to time/date & posters and, if coming from a distance, please check with the Museum first. 


If you want to sign up for our more detailed e- newsletters that come out every 3-6 weeks with latest developments do let me know, and we will put you on the circulation list.

via: helen@swaledalemuseum.org

or click here

Wednesday 15th June 2022

Friends of Swaledale Museum AGM

Wednesday 22nd June 2022

Barney Beck Revisited:
Old Gang and Surrender Lead Smelting Mills
including a rare Insight into the fascinating World of Slag Mineralogy

Richard Lamb

This lecture attempts to retrace the footsteps of the successful all day tour undertaken by the Museum in 2019, but with a few surprises. Examining both structure and history of the surviving smelting mills at Surrender and Old Gang, the whereabouts of previous mills will be suggested together with new study into Smith’s and Raygill Mills. The often overlooked but fundamental question of water supply will also be addressed.

It was in the slags from Surrender Mill that five new compounds were discovered in the late 1980s, two of them new to science. This insight, in layman’s language, describes their discovery and subsequent analysis while placing the subject into perspective because many mineralogists choose to ignore these and similar remarkable finds.

There will be ample opportunity to ask questions.

Old Gang Beck

Wednesday 29th June

Researching Swaledale and Arkengarthdale
using the resources at the North Yorkshire County Record Office

Kimberley Starkie, North Yorkshire County Record Office


Saturday 2nd July 2022

Patchwork Day with Helen Barnes

A morning workshop followed by a look at the historic quilt and patchwork collection.
Limited to 8, £30 for the day, £25 for Friends of the Museum.

This event held in Swaledale Museum.

Wednesday 6th July 2022

Poverty & Pragmatism in Wenselydale & Swaledale 1790-1914

Dr Christine Hallas

Looking at how poor people survived in our dales. Many folk looked for different types of work or went into the workhouse and some local villages set up societies that would help them in dire times.

Others chose to either go to the towns or they left and went to another country.

This event has been cancelled.

Saturday 16th July 2022

Guided Tour of Gunnerside Gill

Shaun Richardson and Richard Lamb


This all-day tour is designed to introduce the topography and former industries of this northern tributary of the River Swale to those up for a challenge.

En route features of interest will be pointed out and explained by the acknowledged specialists Shaun Richardson and Richard Lamb, who will be happy to answer any questions. The route has been chosen particularly to allow spectacular viewpoints over the valley giving comprehension of the landscape and its former mineral exploitation.

Click here for more information

Richard and Cherry Kearton taking a photograph of a bird's nest

Wednesday 20th July 2022

The Legacy of the Kearton Brothers

Helen Guy

Looking at the lives and legacy of Richard (1862-1928) and Cherry (1871-1940) Kearton. From their childhoods in the village of Thwaite, where they developed their interest in the natural world, to becoming celebrated pioneers of wildlife photography.

The Keld Countryside and Heritage Centre: https://keld.org.uk/heritage

Richard and Cherry Kearton taking a photograph of a bird's nest

Wednesday 3rd August 2022

Lime kilns in Swaledale & Arkengarthdale:
the where, the when and the what for?

Dr David Johnson

Lime burning in the Dales has a proven history stretching back over 800 years, and the northern dales have remains of nearly 250 kilns of various types and periods. This illustrated talk considers where and over what length of time lime kilns were built, who built them, and the uses lime was put to.

For a review of David Johnson’s latest book on the subject, Lime Kilns History and Heritage, see: https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/reviews/books/lime-kilns-history-and-heritage.htm

Lime Kiln

Wednesday 17th August 2022

Portrait of an English Migration:
North Yorkshire People in North America

Prof. William van Vugt, Calvin University, Grand Rapids

The author introduces his latest book published in 2021, which examines the long history of migration from North Yorkshire to North America.

Based on diary entries and letters, the book traces the movements of several families as they move to and throughout North America, and places their stories in the broader context of migration patterns.

Copies of the new book will be available for sale on the night. For a link to his new book: https://www.mqup.ca/portrait-of-an-english-migration-products-9780228005858.php

Book cover

Wednesday 21st September 2022. The John Squires Lecture

Marshal-General Plantagenet Harrison:
Richmondshire’s fake prince of the royal blood

Will Swales

A breath-taking biography of a son of Whashton who was the author of the prodigious and controversial genealogical study The History of Yorkshire Part 1: The Wapentake of Gilling West.

The talk will describe the life-long antics of a giant of a man with a giant intellect and an unshakeable self-belief that sustained his enthusiasm through repeated failure as a global military adventurer and international fraudster.

See Will Swales’s website: https://willswales1.wordpress.com

Wednesday 28th September 2022

’Removed and Revealed:
Some Effects of the July 2019 Flooding on Archaeology
in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale’

Shaun Richardson, Ed Dennison Archaeological Services

After a brief introduction regarding the frequency of historic flooding in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, the lecture will deal primarily with the damage caused to lead mining landscapes by the July 2019 flooding and the subsequent recording of what was revealed.

Following the course of the flood water, the lecture will commence with the isolated, upland landscapes of Blakethwaite Dams, Faggergill and Washy Green, and finish at Grinton smelt mill, where the results of the internal clearance work that immediately preceded the floods will also be examined.