Repairs to medieval root store in Upper Nidderdale now complete

Yorkshire Water and the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership have renovated a 200-year-old root cellar, originally used to store vegetables, in the medieval hamlet of Lodge above the iconic Scar House reservoir.

The root cellar had fallen into bad condition and as we own the site and all the surrounding land, we provided funds to enable the conservation work to be carried out.

A local contractor spent one month refurbishing the stone structure, which involved removing the damaged arched roof and re-building it using the same stone.

It is estimated by archaeologists that the store was built into the hillside sometime in the late 1700s, with its roof covered in earth to keep foodstuff cool and allow for longer preservation. There are five other buildings in the settlement of Lodge which was a typical upland farming settlement.

Lisa Harrowsmith, Lead Surveyor for the North said: “Lodge is an interesting site where you can still see the layout and footprint of a typical upland settlement. Restoration of the root store is the start of a project with the Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership to further understand the settlement at Lodge and to conserve the remains for future generations”.

Louise Brown, Historic Nidderdale Project Officer at Nidderdale AONB, said: “Repairs were carried out to the small, semi-subterranean building used to store root vegetables.

“The stone built chamber has a stone vaulted roof and was built into the hillside. One corner of the building moved over time and recently caused part of the roof to collapse. Repairs were carried out to stop further decay of the building with funding from Yorkshire Water. Although only a small part of the village, tucked away on the hillside, this building is an important part of the story of life in this remote part of Upper Nidderdale.”

Lodge was a former medieval grange farm for the Cistercian Abbey of Byland, sold into private ownership following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 1500s. It is likely that it was continually occupied up to its abandonment in the 1920s.

The Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership Scheme is Heritage Lottery funded and managed by Nidderdale AONB.