Yorkshire Dales history
The Yorkshire Dales are steeped in history and throughout the ages many civilisations came to the region in an attempt to conquer. This included the Danes, the Norseman, the Angles as well as the Romans.
Norman times saw the rise of monastic power with bases at Bolton Priory and Fountains Abbey controlling up to three-quarters of the National Park area at one time. Medieval and Tudor times saw the building of major castles such as Castle Bolton, as well as hunting lodges such as Barden Tower.
The Industrial Revolution had its impact on the Dales as elsewhere in Britain with an increase in mining the resources of the area, primarily lead and coal. The Victorian age brought the Settle to Carlisle railway, which was forced through the area using huge amounts of labour to build spectacular viaducts and tunnels.
Farmers today still graze their sheep in the many green valleys where the grass is lush and inviting. High up on the fells the hardy Swaledale sheep are farmed, and cheese is still manufactured in the region; monks who lived in the abbeys were the first to make cheese in Wensleydale.