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Lane Head - Waste Inn, Boss Moor 

Site of Lane Head - Waste Inn (Google Earth).

Lane Head is situated on Boss Moor, to the North East of the present day Lainger House. There have been people living at Lane Head, since at least the early 18th century, as can be seen in the list of residents from the Burnsall Parish Register.(1) and accessed from the button below.

It was probably inhabited before that, as this was the site of an old public house called the Waste Inn. It stood close by the site of Boss Moor Fair, described by Harry Speight (1895) as:

'one of the great farming events of the year in Craven, whole armies of Scottish drovers came this way with their herds of black cattle, ponies and sheep. They travelled these wilds from the highlands every autumn for the big fair held on the lofty summit of the moor 1,020 ft some 2 miles north of Hetton.'(2)

Raistrick (1972) writes about the northern English fairs as follows:

'the cattle were mostly bought by graziers, who either owned or hired land on which they could fatten the stock for a season, before they were sent to the southern markets, or sold to butchers at more local meetings.


'many of the cattle brought to Boss Moor fair were taken to Skipton market; some of them to Ripon or Masham.'(3)

Droving did not end suddenly, but gradually died away starting in the 1820s. This was due in part to more rapid ways of transporting cattle, and steamships had become common by the 1830s. Scottish farmers could use them to ship their cattle more rapidly to English ports and also, by the 1880s, the rail system was so well integrated and widespread that they could be moved by train to their markets very easily. Also, bigger fatter cattle were being reared across England and the common pasture, which the drovers had used to graze the cattle as they travelled, was being enclosed throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, and the drovers had no right of access to the enclosed fields.


On the Tithe Award for 1839, there was a house, barn and yard, plus a croft and back of house, occupied by William Robinson and owned by Richard Waddilove. The Robinson family, whose occupation is listed as farmer, continued to live at Lane Head, according to the 1841 and 1851 censuses, but the family and house are not on any later census.

There is a cold storage built into the hillside which was possibly used for storing beer or vegetables, as shown on the picture below.




Sketch plan of Lane Head site by Alison Armstrong.



1. Burnsall Parish Register.


2. Speight H. (1895). Tramps and Drives in the Craven Highlands. London: Elliott Stock, 62 Paternoster Row EC. Printed by GF Sewell, 52 Godwin Street Bradford Yorks.


3. Raistrick A (1972). The Pennine Dales. London: Arrow books Ltd. First published by Eyre & Spottiswade Ltd. 1968.

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