Book Review

(First published in 1989 in volume 4, p. 88, of the third series of The Bradford Antiquary, the journal of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society.)

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Houses Of The North York Moors

H.M.S.O. £19.95

This volume, the latest in a series of surveys carried out by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England, deals with domestic housing over an area which includes the market towns of Pickering, Helmsley and Kirkbymoorside. The publication is the result of work started in 1977 for an intended inventory of the county of North Yorkshire, which was later redefined to cover buildings in the North York Moors, formerly called Blackamore. The houses examined range from small cottage, to manor house, hall and castle. Two of the longest chapters are devoted to farm houses and farmsteads, the development of which, over the years, is traced with the aid of clear, easily understood plans and drawings. The variety of rural pursuits is shown in all manner of buildings: gig and trap houses, pinfolds, windmills, dovecotes and kennels. The photograph of the circular pinfold at Hutton Buscel comes near to being a work of art.

The bare bones of architectural description are given flesh by the inclusion, throughout the book, of information from sources such as wills, diaries and inventories. This approach renders the survey of use not only to those whose study is domestic architecture, but to social historians and readers with more general interests at heart. The excellent black and white photographs are supplemented by line drawings of a high order, and this altogether first-rate production is rounded off by a list of the buildings recorded, a bibliography and a comprehensive index.

Note: Two of the earlier surveys in the series, The Rural Houses of West Yorkshire, 1400-1830 and Workers' Houses of West Yorkshire, 1750-1920, were reviewed in The Bradford Antiquary, Third Series, No. 3, 1987


© 1989, D.A.H. and The Bradford Antiquary