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North Yorks Dales Cottage Gardens, Swaledale, Reeth, Arkle Cottage


Arkle Cottage lies beside Arkle Beck on the east side of Reeth. The cottage had two walled gardens, one on either side of the cottage. In the east garden were a pig-sty, hen coop and lean-to greenhouse. From the gardens the family were virtually self-sufficient in food.The stone-built cottage is typical of an 18th century type owned by small farmer-cum-lead miner in Swaledale; two storys with central doorway.

For the Dales, Plants and Gardens 1900-1960 oral history project, two women were interviewed on separate dates about their parent's garden in Reeth (mid-Swaledale). Their father was a dry-stone waller and their mother worked in the house. Neither interviewers nor interviewees knew that the other interview was taking place. The memories of both sisters relates to the 1950s when they were children and teenagers; their parents rented the cottage and its walled gardens.

Reeth lies on a low shelf above the flood plain between the River Swale and the Arkle Beck in mid-Swaledale. The small town is surrounded on three sides by the fells and scars of the dale and drops down on the south-west side to the ings or water meadows of the Swale.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts


01969 666210


B6270 up Swaledale from Richmond to Reeth. From the green walk east of the green and down to Arkle Beck. Walk along Arkle Beck towards Reeth Bridge.


Reeth centres on a large green on which there has been a weekly market for over 300 years. Cattle and sheep have always been important; but lead mining gave Reeth its economic importance, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries. When the lead industry collapsed Reeth survived as a tourist destination.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Conservation Area

  • Reference: Yorkshire Dales National Park


  • Structure
  • Building
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Civil Parish

Reeth, Fremington