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Help to save Gayle Beck Lodge

10th August 2016
It has come to my attention that a potential buyer of this lodge who has a serious interest in restoring it back to its original state, however there is a problem in finding who actually owns it before they can proceed so:

If anyone out there has any info they can provide as to the owner of Gayle Beck Lodge, would you please contact me at the bottom of this page, any information would be appreciated and treated with the utmost confidentiality and I will pass that on to the interested parties.

Gayle Beck Lodge, which is situated three miles NE of Ribblehead, close to High Gayle Farm, Travel along the road from Haws and about half a mile from the Ribblehead Viaduct on the left side stands this unique building, Grid ref. 788809.

This is a quote from a Mr Barrie Johnson who once used the lodge and brought my attention to it.

"As promised, I have attached a scan of a photo of J.B. Priestley painting outside the Luncheon Hut by Gayle Beck, probably taken in the early Sixties, which an old caving pal of mine found in a book.

© remains of respective owner

It is a great shame that the building has been allowed to fall into ruin as it is the only remaining luncheon hut (referred to as a ‘Shooting Box’ on OS maps) in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. So it is unique, particularly as it is designed like a Scottish grouse shooting hut. When the Warrington Potholing and Caving Club took it on in January 1968 it had not been used for many years, and we agreed to pay £26 per year rent!

One room had been for the gentry, with timber wainscoting. The smaller, simpler room (now collapsed) was for the beaters. We put a doorway between the two rooms and used a chemical toilet outside by the stream - no toilet shed, just sat in the open air! We washed in the stream and boiled water for drinking. I was once snowed in, alone for three days (January 1969, I think) and had to dig myself out of the doorway. The temperature dropped to minus 6 degrees inside the hut, so I needed my mountaineering clothing! We named the building Gayle Beck Lodge, and this name was adopted by the Ordnance Survey on the revised maps. Interestingly, there is an OS bench mark on the gable facing the road, and the spot height is 1,100ft.

Although all the other buildings further down the valley associated with the grouse shooting were sold off during the Eighties, the owner of the shooting rights (who lived in Cheshire) consistently refused to sell the hut. It is sad to see the dereliction."

Below are two pictures of the building taken over a two year period by me, it can be seen that the 2008 image shows more dereliction to the roof on the right side, in fact its gone, this may have been done for safety reasons.



This building once stood proud in Ribblehead, it is part of the superb landscape around this area, it is unique, has important history attached to it, the above images show what a year can do in the higher Dales climate, if it is allowed to continue without repair it will be lost forever.

If you are concerned about this then the way to help is by sending your concern in writing or by email to:

Built Heritage Conservation Team
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
North Yorkshire

Email: info@yorkshiredales.org.uk


Photo comment By Ian Black: Martin, I hope you dont mind me posting a link to this page on my Blog. This is really great information about a building that has captovated my imagination and curiousity for a number of years. Rgds Ian
Photo comment By Charles Muff: Fond memories of this hut with Warrington CPC in the early 70s — happy days !! Many a drunken night was spent there!!

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