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Pictures of Muker

in the county of North Yorkshire

About Muker

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The meaning of the word Muker is narrow field, and here surrounding Muker there are beautiful fields and meadows of international importance.

A settlement has existed here since Viking times but the village was not to fully flourish until the prosperous days of the lead mining industry during the 18th and 19th-centuries. With prosperity came fine buildings, the church was built during this period and so was the village school where there is a plaque commemorating two of it's most talented pupils. Richard and Cherry Kearton were pupils at the school in the 1870's, they were later to become distinguished naturalists. Richard, as a child suffered a severe accident which left him crippled. On leaving school he did whatever he could to earn a living, often acting as a beater for grouse shoots on the moors.

A London publisher visiting for the shoot was impressed with Richard's knowledge and love of natural history. He offered him a job and before long Richard was writing natural history books. The books became unique, not only for their authenticity but for his own and Cherry's photographic illustrations, which were unique in their minute detail. The brothers gained fame, quickly becoming known throughout the world as writers, illustrators and broadcasters. To this day, the brothers continue to be revered and talked about in all parts of the Dales.

An unusual feature of England lies in Muker-it has one of the few churches to be built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Built of wattle and daub, thatched with heather, the church came as a saviour to many of the poor Dalesfolk, who to either get married or bury their dead, had to make a 10 mile trek over Kisdon Hill to Grinton.

In 1890 the village expanded with the building of new cottages, a village hall and the Farmers Arms pub. This took place at the same time as restoration work to the church, giving the village a unifying sense of harmony. The church of St.Mary the Virgin, lies on the edge of the village surrounded by a peaceful walled churchyard. And although no longer a schoolhouse, the Keartons school, founded in 1679 can still be seen.

There is an abundance of beauty all around here, the Muker Beck crossed by an attractive stone bridge, flows through the village on it's way to join the River Swale. The region is a famous breeding ground for the hardy Swaledale sheep, whose black face is used as the emblem for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Hand knitted garments made from the tough, wiry wool taken from the sheep can be bought in most parts of the Dales.

Apart from having a place in the history of the Yorkshire Dales, Muker is a walkers paradise and a wonderful relaxing place to stay whilst discovering the beauty of the area.

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