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Barden in Wharfedale: The Place and its People


About this book:

  • ISBN: 978-1-910237-13-7

  • Published: June 2016

  • Price: £18.00 + postage

  • 267 pages

  • Illustrated with 281 colour & black and white photographs, drawings and maps.

Brontë pictured signing books at the launch of 'Barden in Wharfedale'


With an introduction by the Duke of Devonshire:
“For those who live and work in a place change is much more obvious and it is constant… Most of this happens slowly, gradually and often unrecorded, certainly unrecorded as a whole history. Brontë Bedford-Payne has therefore written a book of immense value and interest. She and her colleagues have spent many years researching this work and every moment of this labour of love is immensely worthwhile.
“This is real history, factual, in great detail and it is utterly compelling. I lived near Barden for over 20 years and I have spent time there on and off all my life. I have visited most of the buildings and walked nearly all the woods and fields as well as the river banks, many times. Reading Brontë Bedford-Payne’s words is a revelation, a fascinating historical survey of every aspect of this beautiful and ancient part of Yorkshire. The purposes of apparently random structures become clear, the historical layers are unpeeled and the reasons for why a building, a footpath or a wall is where it is become fascinatingly clear.
“To have this book in one’s hands as you study the valley will make any visit infinitely more interesting. For all residents and for those responsible for the continuing management of the landscape, be they farmers, landowners or planners this is essential reading.
“We are all in her debt and I for one am in awe of her thoroughness, attention to detail and, above all, her deep understanding of the landscape and what it contains in this exceptional corner of England.” The Duke of Devonshire.

About the Author:

BRONTË BEDFORD-PAYNE's early influences included a large part of childhood with her sister, when every holiday was spent in Drebley, and some school-days in Burnsall as an evacuee during the early years of the Second World War. Later, they lived at Club Nook and travelled daily on the local bus to Leeds Girls’ High School, when part of it was evacuated to the Hall at Bolton Abbey.
Towards the end of the war, they travelled by bus to Ilkley Grammar School before returning to Essex where her parents lived. She then won a place in the Medical School at University College Hospital, London, where she qualified as a Dental Surgeon. Having married a fellow student, she had a son and a daughter and practiced Dentistry until she reached retirement age. In 1978 she and her family moved to a house on the bank of the river Wharfe outside Grassington and established
a dental practice there.
Earlier influences over the writing of this book come from her forebears who have farmed most recently at Drebley and Club Nook, and also from Low Trenhouse, Malham Moor, and Windypike, Hanlith. Brontë is an Honorary Life Member of the Upper Wharfedale Field Society, where she and her colleague Heather Beaumont were leaders of the Local History Group. She has always been
inspired by the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales, its flora and fauna, its historical development and her association with it through the family farms and her marriage in the ancient Priory Church at Bolton Abbey.


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