Many of the interviews the fieldworkers conducted with informants took place in their traditionally-built homes. They were often invited over the threshold to enjoy long, tea-fuelled chats – and while they were at it, they even recorded several dialect terms for threshold, including thresh, threshwood, threshel and sill!


A map

‘SED Word Map: Threshold’ (LAVC/PHO/S045)


Many of the cottages in scenic villages – which might now sell for a hefty sum – were originally built to accommodate low-paid farm labourers, weavers, miners and tradespeople. The archive contains pictures of cottages with many different types of design, built with a range of materials including stone, thatch, and timber. 

A row of buildings

‘Stone Cottages (Yorkshire Dales)’ (LAVC/PHO/P0085) by Werner Kissling 1967

The roof of a building

‘Club Nook Cottage’ (LAVC/PHO/P0125) by Werner Kissling Drebley, N Yorks, 1964. The cottage originally had a thatched roof but this had been replaced with corrugated iron.

A building

‘Miner's Cottage at Castle Bolton’ (LAVC/PHO/P0320) by Werner Kissling Lead miner’s cottage, Castle Bolton, 1965 7

A street lamp and a building

‘Thatched Dwelling House’ (LAVC/PHO/P0345) by Stewart Sanderson Pilling, Lancashire


A recording made by fieldworker Michael Barry in 1958, John Thomas Teare on the Isle of Man talked about the decline of thatched roofs locally and the cost of maintenance.

Listen here

'John Teare, interviewed by by Michael Barry' ( LAVC/SRE/D/2/D137 )
A transcription for this audio can be found (here)

A building

‘Farmhouse with Spinning Gallery’. (LAVC/PHO/P0111) by Werner Kissling For spinning wool and flax, Newbiggin-on-Lune, Cumbria, 1960s

A building

'Farmhouse at Burtersett' (LAVC/PHO/P0120) by Werner Kissling Wensleydale, 1960s. This was the home of hand-knitter, Maggie Calvert.

A building

‘Dales Farmstead’ (LAVC/PHO/P0180) by Werner Kissling 1962 The farmhouse has an adjoining barn.

A building

The farmhouse has an adjoining barn.

‘Farmhouse with Pigeon Loft’. (LAVC/PHO/P0190) by Werner Kissling Airton, 1962

A thatched building

‘Thatched Cruck Farmhouse’. (LAVC/PHO/P0140) by Wille Brunk. Ainthorpe, Danby, North Yorkshire, 1967

There are many fine examples of similar buildings at our partner museums around the country. Discover more here!