The Cruck Barn, the first of its kind for 400 years, is open behind the Pub. The soaring oak trusswork carrying the traditional heather thatched roof, adds a unique atmosphere to your  occasion. The lime and horsehair plaster and limewash finish the local stonework. Heating is provided by a huge log fire and the sheepswool insulation.

Screen Size Version / Hi Res

Screen Size Version 

Hi Res

Heather thatched roof keeps you warm & dry.

Event FAQs

Click the leaflet rack for helpful information to help plan your event

outside the Cruck Barn

The barn is open for meals or private hire for Feasts, Banquets, dinner bookings, parties, wedding receptions, meetings and conferences. The baulks (balcony) comes in as either a stage or extra seating.  The new kitchen can cater for up to 65 seated guests or up to 120 for a standing buffet and a digital projector mp3 amplifier can provide "cinematic" graphics to your event. 

Tierney Photography

disables access
Wheelchair access to the barn & disabled toilet. Gas lighting adds to the atmosphere from the real log fires and there is a great choice of hotels and guest houses close by for those not wishing to drive home.

The riven & bent oak 'A' frame that supports the roof from the floor is known as the Cruck and gives the barn its unique structure and name.

cruck frame

Tierney Photography

There were once lots of Cruck barns in yorkshire, now only a few still stand.

inside barn

gaslight in barn

Gas Lights

inside barn

inside barn

Before stone slates, all buildings in the area were thatched with heather.

inside barn

inside barn

Children welcome, 3 high chairs and a childs menu are available.


For booking enquiries please go to our contact page

Shortlisted for the 2007 National Wood Awards "Best use of British Timber"

For information about the construction, Contact Robert Aynesworth

Historical Interest 

The first to be built in the Dale for 300 – 400 years the Cruck Barn has been faithfully constructed using the same materials tools and methods used all those centuries ago. Meticulous research and attention to detail ensures it is as authentic as possible based on a now  destroyed barn at nearby Barden. 
The bent oak trees forming the crucks were donated by the Broughton Hall Estate and the ling heather was donated by the Bolton Abbey Estate from Barden moor just over the hill opposite the Craven Arms. Insulation is by sheep’s wool which can be seen above the roof timbers, and the walls are covered with traditional lime and horsehair plaster.
The Cruck barn was built  by Robert Aynesworth, a member of the family who own the Craven Arms, together with a team of local people; even the tables were made only 200 yards away by local carpenter Jim Mason.
400 years ago there were no builders merchants and few people travelled more than 10 miles from home.  They could only use what they could find in their immediate surroundings. In plentiful supply was stone and oak trees from the dense natural woodland which covered the area before it was cleared and heather from the moors. Stone slates had not yet come into being except for the very wealthy.  If you needed a roof over your head there was no alternative to thatching with ling a long heather which grows on the moors. Straw or reeds were not available and would in any case not stood the climate. The stone had to be quarried and shaped by hand, and lime mortar was used produced in the numerous small lime kilns, the remains of which can be found in the area. The timber was cut by hand and riven (split) into the sizes and shapes required. Nails, which we take for granted, were expensive, as each had to be made by hand, so the timbers were held together by wooden pegs. The gathering of the heather from the moors was a laborious task pulling each piece out by the roots (a backbreaking job as they had no machinery to cut it) and the quantity required for each roof was enormous. The crucks are made from bent oak trees, selected by searching the woods, split down the middle with wedges to form two matching halves to create the A shaped cruck which extended virtually right down to the ground supporting the whole weight of the roof, unlike present day structures where the roof is supported by trusses resting on the wall tops. The cruck extending right down to the ground enabling a rectangular building was a natural progression from the earlier circular dwellings, where a single central pole from the floor supported the entire roof.


From the Yorkshire Post

"WHEN your heart is set on having a wedding reception in a medieval timber-framed barn nothing else will do, so Rob Aynesworth built his own  with a little help from family and some traditional craftsmen. The result is an authentic replica of a Tudor cruck barn believed to be the first of its kind to be built in the Dales since Henry VIII was on the throne.
It was completed just in time for Mr Aynesworth's wedding tomorrow to his fiance Alison Thornton when the barn at the Craven Arms in Appletreewick will host their reception.
Mr Aynesworth's father, David, had already restored a 1930s Bentley and a Whitby fishing coble. The cruck barn was another long-held dream and the ideal way to complete the restoration of the Craven Arms, which he owns.
It is a replica of a cruck barn from Barden, which was taken down and rebuilt at Shibden Hall, Halifax, but burned down soon afterwards.
David Aynesworth said: "Luckily we found photos and drawings which we used to ensure a faithful reconstruction.
"Cruck barns are constructed around an 'A' frame of green, unseasoned, oak. Once dry they contort to take on a character not possible using modern materials."
But the replica had to meet building regulations and one of the challenges was insulation. The barn uses sheep fleeces treated to remove the lanolin to make them fire resistant.
Mr Aynesworth said: "Being traditional, it was exactly what we were looking for."
The barn also pays tribute to craftsmanship of Tudor builders.
"I have always loved these buildings," Mr Aynesworth added, " If you think about it they were very low-tech when compared to modern structures, but the truth is they worked very well.
"We wanted to replicate as far as possible the methods employed and in doing so used local stone for the walls, unseasoned oak for the floorboards, as well as the crucks, and traditional 'black thak' heather for the thatch."
Wharfedale's country estates were keen to support the project. Bolton Abbey provided heather from surrounding moors and oak timbers, while Broughton Hall offered green oak for the main structure."

01 December 2006 Yorkshire Post. Brian Dooks

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