Swaledale Museum


All lectures will be held in the Swaledale Museum in Reeth DL11 6TX at 7.30 pm (unless indicated below). 
As space is limited to 40 and we anticipate great interest we recommend booking in advance 
by e-mailing helen@swaledalemuseum.org 
or calling 01748 884118 or 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 before setting off. 

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


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ON NOW... TEMPORARY EXHIBITION: Past and Present: A New Look at Old Swaledale

Museum Upper Gallery

We are all familiar with those popular picture books that show old images of a particular place, the sepia and black and white lending them a familiar air of age and authenticity. Sometimes these books also include pictures of the same sites as they are today. Our eyes flick back-and-forth between them, inviting a sort of distracting game of finding the difference. Well our very own photographers at Scenicview in Reeth have come up with an innovative idea, employing the technical and aesthetic skills of their profession, combining old and new in a single image. Using the Museum's collection they have chosen a selection of old photographs and merged their modern equivalent into a single view. Come and see the wonderful results in a select exhibition of these works in the Museum - the highlight of our Upper Gallery this season. Perhaps you might want to commission your own 'Past and Present' image from them, but first come and see what they can do!

temporary exhibition

Saturday 15th June - 2.00 - 4.00pm

Les and Sue Knight 'Lichen Drop-In'


Wednesday 19th June

Richard Lamb, 'Not once but twice: The introduction of innovative lead smelting technology into Yorkshire. But where? Marrick of course'.

The title is deliberately intended to be intriguing and poses all sorts of questions about what is called technology transfer. In some respects it is also misleading as will be explained. Marrick is indeed an unlikely place for innovation but nevertheless the known history and surviving buildings allow an appreciation of what once happened here, not the largest or most complex site but certainly one of the most picturesque and best preserved in Yorkshire. It deserves full recognition of its place in history.


Saturday 29th June - 3.00pm

'Yorkshire Tea & Tales' with Rhoda Fraser £8.00 per person.

Come and join Rhoda in the Museum to hear stories about chapel teas, traditional recipes and how times have changed, while enjoying a fine Dales tea. Limited to 20 includes entry to Museum, talk and tea with cake, biscuits & Wensleydale cheese.

Tea Party

Wednesday 10th July at 3.00 pm

Book Launch - Sweet Slices of History

Come and join Marjory Szurko, the author of Sweet Slices of History, to celebrate the Swaledale sections of her book - with recipes from Mrs Spiers, and other local notables, and get a real taste of local history (there will be delectable samples to test).
Find out how the recipes ended up in the archive at Oriel College Oxford. The book has been shortlisted for the Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Book Award 2019.

Book cover

Saturday 13th July

Field Trip with Richard Lamb, all-day outing to Surrender and Old Gang lead smelting mills.

Following the success of the two previous guided tours to Marrick and Grinton Mills, it was thought that something different would be in order. So this year, it is an all day event visiting the two well-known smelting complexes of Surrender and Old Gang Mills situated on Barney Beck between Arkengarthdale and Swaledale. This will encompass all aspects of smelting in detail, together with a little history, and should appeal to the industrial archaeologist, local historian and researcher into the lead industry.
The party size is strictly limited to 20 and will cost £10, payable in advance to the Swaledale Museum, Reeth.
All participants will receive a PDF handout prior to the trip via e-mail providing background information and some relevant plans to aid interpretation.

Please meet at Surrender Bridge overlooking the Mill before 10.30 am noting that we will be having lunch here before departing to Old Gang at around 13.30. It may be possible to visit just one site by arrangement with Helen Bainbridge, numbers permitting.
Please bring adequate waterproof clothing and appropriate footwear.
The estimated time of departure from Surrender Bridge would be around 16.30 to 17.00.

Old Gang Ruins

Wednesday 31st July

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

Lime burning in the dales stretches 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 to which lime was put.

Swaledale Lime Kiln

Wednesday 14th August

Marion Moverley & Helen Bainbridge, 'Read All About It No.2: More Historical Newscuttings from the Dales'

Marion and Helen are back again reporting local news from the past. Be prepared to be astonished, surprised, amused, educated and edified!

Wednesday 28th August

Grand Map, Print and Picture Auction

Maps and Prints

Wednesday 11th September

Will Swales, 'Insights into the study of place-names in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale'

Investigating place-name clues to 2,000 years of language development in the two dales - from the unknown tongue of the Britons, to the voices of Angles, and then of Norwegians influenced by Irish Gaelic, and possible further ingredients of Old Danish, Old Welsh, Old Scots and Scots Gaelic.
Little wonder that a Richmond newspaper editor writing in 1873 described Harkerside farmers giving evidence in the town court as speaking 'such a specimen of Swaledale dialect as I fancy was never before heard.

Thwaite, Swaledale

Wednesday 18th September

Tracy Little and Helen Bainbridge, 'How to Date Local Photographs. Some Tactics, Techniques & Tips'

Do you have a photograph of the Dales but simply can't date it? In this talk we will investigate how certain features including developments in photography, changes in architecture, the arrival of new technology, shifts in fashion and family history can help provide a framework of dates. We will explode some myths and expect audience participation.

Wednesday 25th September

Linda Bray, 'In the footsteps of Thomas Armstrong'

Linda is the great neice of Thomas Armstrong, author of 'The Crowthers of Bankdam' (1940) and 'Adam Brunskill' (1952), and resident of Low Row, where he lived at Lawn House until his death in 1978. She has inherited the copyright to his works and has made it her mission to republish them so they reach a new generation. In this talk she will share her research on Armstrong and how she has digitised his novels.


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©2019 - Swaledale Museum, The Green, Reeth, North Yorkshire, DL11 6TX. 01748 884118