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Dry stone wall, Watlowes valley

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Watlowes Valley

© YDNPA, 2004,

Dry stone wall, Watlowes

© YDNPA, 2004,

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Dry stone wall, Watlowes valley

Historical Environment Record No: MYD36608

Parish: Malham

OS Grid Reference: SD897642

Dale: Malhamdale

Link to Archaeology Data Service:


The field wall along the Watlowes valley above Malham Cove is straight sided with a wide top and an overhanging coping, quite unlike the more usual type with sloping sides narrowing towards the top. The overhanging coping or top stones seem to have been designed to prevent sheep jumping over the wall. The extra width may simply have been a way of using up surplus stone in a particularly rocky area. This distinctive type seems to date to the late Medieval or early post-Medieval period. The Watlowes example formed the boundary between the Medieval estates of Fountains Abbey and Bolton Priory
Lord, T C (2004) ‘One on Two and Two on One a preliminary results from a survey of dry stone walls on the National Trust estate at Malham’ in White, R F & Wilson, P R (eds) (2004) Archaeology and Historic Landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. Yorkshire Archaeological Society Occasional Paper No 2 pp173-186


From Malham head east then north up Malham Rakes road(signed to Malham Tarn). After 1/2 mile take footpath on left signed to Malham Cove. After 450 metres Watlowes Valley can be seen ahead with the wall up the middle.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Malham. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Steep road up from Malham. Ladder stile at start of path, path is rough and muddy in places. Steep incline down into Watlowes Valley.

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