High Trenhouse History
High Trenhouse Managment Centre is situated in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park overlooking Malham Tarn. Bought in 1976 as a run down farmstead it was transformed over a number of years into the residential venue seen today. However High Trenhouse has a long and interesting history.
During the Bronze and Iron Ages, the surrounding area was settled by farmers who used the land for grazing. Following the Roman conquest of Britain the upland areas were not seen as attractive and the only Roman presence in the area was a marching camp on Malham Moor. During the Medieval period the lands were owned by the Monasteries, and their use for grazing continued. The High Trenhouse dwelling was originally built as a lodge for Fountains Abbey, at a time when much of the land on Malham Moor was owned by the monastic estates. The lodge housed a tenant, together with two or three shepherds and boys, who looked after the sheep
Following the dissolution of the monasteries, the Malham Moor estate changed hands several times until it was eventually acquired by Thomas Lister, the first Lord Ribblesdale, in the mid 1700s. It was sold to businessman James Morrison in 1852 and on his death inherited by his son, Walter. While visiting Walter Morrison in 1858, author Charles Kingsley used Malham Tarn as the inspiration for the novel the “The Water-Babies”. When Walter Morrison died in 1921, High Trenhouse and several other farms entered independent ownership while the Tarn House estate was eventually gifted to the National Trust. High Trenhouse was a thousand acre sheep farm until 1976 when the land was divided and the house acquired by the current owner.