We are still exploring and learning about previous occupants of Pear House (sometimes referred to as Pier House in the records and in the memory of some current Gunnerside residents). For many years in the 19 century it was a lead miner’s dwelling. There is a stone marked “R Harker 1882″ in the east wall of Pear House and a descendant of his, John Bowman, has a very interesting website including many historical photographs of the Harker family. Visit


for more information and to view his gallery.

Additional information is available at the Gunnerside village archive


The archive also contains transcripts of census returns from the middle years of the 19th century recording a number of families living at Pear House over 60 years (Pear House is in the Melbecks area of the parish)   http://www.gunnerside.info/census.html

Other census returns are available at http://www.dalesgenealogy.com/census/

the census from 1891 shows Pier (Pear) house unoccupied and it is not mentioned in the census of 1901


There are several reasons why houses were being left empty in the last 2 decades of the 19th century. There is a really interesting essay available on line describing these changes and pressures




2 thoughts on “History

    • Hello John. It is good to have your comment and interest… you will be welcome to visit Pear House and we would be able to offer accommodation at our cottage in the village (see http://www.anvilcottage.me.uk). I’m sorry that it has taken so long to respond, but I am finally now getting to grips with understanding and managing the website, and will bring the blog about the field and wood and orchard up to date and keep it as a record of progress. It will be good to hear your family story and learn your family’s experiences of life in 19th century Swaledale; Andrew

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