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Ribblehead Viking farmstead

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Ribblehead Viking farmstead - excavation

© Alan King, 2004,

Ribblehead Viking farmstead - artists impression

© Alan King, 2004,

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Ribblehead Viking farmstead

Historical Environment Record No: MYD3669

Parish: Ingleton

OS Grid Reference: SD765784

Dale: Ribblesdale

Link to Archaeology Data Service:


Only one Viking period farmstead has so far been excavated in the Yorkshire Dales. The cluster of three rectangular stone buildings and enclosures is located on bare limestone pavement at 340 metres OD close to Ribblehead Quarry. The walls of the buildings were dry rubble limestone and had rounded corners. The long walls of the largest building were 1.5-1.8 metres thick while at its south gable they were even thicker, more than 3 metres. The north gable being 2.4 metres thick was slightly less solid.

The outer face walls of each of the buildings were formed from limestone boulders, the inner ones with coursed limestone slabs with rubble and earth packed in between. All of the buildings would have had ridged timber roofs and were probably turf or heather thatched.

The largest building is 19 metres long and 4 metres wide internally. It is assumed that this was the main domestic building. It had centrally placed paved doorways at its gable end. The smaller buildings may have been workshops or kitchens.

Coins and other finds date the site to the 9th century AD and these along with the layout, construction and shape of the buildings have led archaeologists to interpret the site as a Norse farmstead.
King, Alan (1978) ‘Ribblehead’ Current Archaeology. No 61 pp38-41

King, A (1978) 'Gauber high pasture, Ribblehead - an interim report' in Hall, R A (ed) (1978) Viking Age York & the North. CBA Research Report No 27 pp21-25 - virtual reality tour of Ribblehead Viking farmstead. Date accessed 8/3/04.


Near Ribblehead Quarry. Access to quarry down rough track from B6255 (Ingleton to Ribblehead) just before railway bridge. Follow circular English Nature waymarked trail from quarry. Check for further details.

Public Transport Details

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


Ribblehead Quarry walk includes sections of rough stony ground. There are steep unfenced cliff faces and several ponds with deep water within the quarry.

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