The barn is open for meals or private hire for Feasts,
Banquets, dinner bookings, parties, wedding receptions, meetings and
baulks (balcony) comes in as either a stage or extra
seating. The new kitchen can cater for up to 60 seated guests or up
to 120 for a standing buffet and a digital projector mp3 amplifier can provide
"cinematic" graphics to your
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.
There were once lots of Cruck barns in yorkshire, now only a few still stand.
Before stone slates, all buildings in the area were thatched with heather.
Children welcome, 3 high chairs and a childs menu are available.
around with video
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
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
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.
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
It is a replica of a cruck barn from Barden, which was taken down
and rebuilt at Shibden Hall, Halifax, but burned down soon
David Aynesworth said: "Luckily we found photos and
drawings which we used to ensure a faithful reconstruction.
barns are constructed around an 'A' frame of green, unseasoned, oak. Once
dry they contort to take on a character not possible using modern
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."
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