Ryedale Folk Museum

1128 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2021

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Product country

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Travelled with

Family including children under 16

Reasons for trip

The agricultural revolution in the late C18th followed by increasing industrialisation in the C20th led to massive changes in farming. Small holdings were no longer viable units and were replaced by larger farms requiring less labour.

Horses were no longer the main form of power, either in ploughing and tending the land but also for providing the power for machinery.

The HORSE GIN, once a familiar site in most farmyards, has disappeared. Horses were yoked to beams from the vertical revolving shaft which was linked by gears to the threshing machine in a nearby barn.

Women passed sheaves to the men on the threshing platform, who fed them into the rotating drum. The straw passed over a set of pegs which separated the straw from the grains and chaff. The grains and chaff were put into a winnower which blew the chaff and husks out.

Originally threshing was done with the help of neighbours. By the late C18th it was done by gangs of roving labourers.

Horses were later replaced by other sources of power, like small stationary steam engines. Even butter making could be mechanised.

The FOLD YARD was an important part of larger farms, providing a safe enclosed area for livestock. Many were in use until the 1950s. The fold yard at the muesum has display panels with information about the agricultural year

The barns were used for lambing as well as for housing the increasing range of farm machinery.

The display also includes two gipsy caravans. These are about one hundred years old and known as Openlot, as they had a curtain across the opening, rather than a door.

SHEPHERD’S HUTS were used by shepherds at lambing time. They could be dragged out into the fields so the shepherd could live close to their flock. They were basically furnished and spartan. Hessian sacks were used to wrap orphan or weak lambs to keep them warm.Tools include crooks, branding irons and a drenching horn used for giving medicines.

The huts are no longer needed. Many were adapted to other uses like chicken huts. Some have been upgraded to provide a unique experience for holiday makers.

Another barn contains a Merryweather horse drawn fire engine from 1850. It needed 2 horses to pull it and the pump needed at least twelve people to work it. One person directed the hose nozzle onto the blaze. Another controlled water being sucked up from a local pond. or stream. Five or more people were needed to work the pump handles on either side of the machine. Locals were recruited at the scene of the fire, with payment in the form of pints of beer.

Next to this is a dog cart which was a light vehicle which could be pulled by a single horse horse. With plenty of space for passengers and their belongings, they were popular all purpose vehicles

There are lots more pictures “here.”:https://www.sloweurope.com/community/threads/hutton-le-hole-and-the-ryedale-folk-museum.5978/ here.


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