Carving Yorkshire Dialect Words


Carving letters in stone

Actually it is a house name – but the word has its origin in Old Norse.  I’m carving Old Hall Laithe, for Kilnsey Park Estate.

The word Laithe means ‘a dwelling with other farm buildings, including a barn, as a single structural unit, with separate entrances for human and livestock areas’ – or has come to simply mean a granary, or barn.

The Laithe house is an example of vernacular architecture of upland West Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales, typical of farmsteads.  It is a dual purpose dwelling, being house and agricultural building built in one range.  It was a convenient and compact smallholding for tenant farmers, and is particularly associated with textile manufacture.  Different ways of building were introduced as textile work moved away from being a home industry.

It is quite possible that the origins of the laithe house can be found in the longhouse tradition.

Lettercutting in stone

The letters are being carved on an old stone roofing tile, from part of the old farmstead that was the laithe house,  now rebuilt.

It is so lovely to see the re-emergence of the old word in a new house name, and recognising the style of the building and the Yorkshire word given to it.

The carved stone will be built into a dry stone wall, which the wallers are working on right now, so I’d better get back to finish this stone so I’m ready in time for them.





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