EAST RIDDLESDEN Hall is so much more than a house. This intimate estate has layer upon layer of history just waiting to be uncovered.

The National Trust team here have been focusing on bringing the social and architectural history alive in areas which have previously been untouched.

The Great Barn will be a hive of activity in 2017. Unravelling the history of how this cathedral of labour would have held the local community together like buttons on a mattress is one of the key objectives.

Over the winter months, exploring how we can bring light into the dark mysterious corners of this 17th Century structural wonder will be top of our priority list.

Drawing attention to the worn posts which animals were tethered to, the threshing floor which would have seen the final days of the harvest brought in and the oak beams that were strategically put together, all bearing the signs of pure craftsmanship.

They will all be brought to life through activities and stories.

This week a milk float has moved beyond the dark eaves and into the light-flooded floor of the barn, highlighting the magnificent colours that are otherwise missed. To celebrate the harvest being brought home the barn and house will host traditional vegetables and grains giving a flavour of life in days gone by.

A special thanks extends to Keelham Farm Shop, Whitaker Animal Feeds, Sainsbury’s, and the head gardener Jill and the volunteer team, whose allotments supplied the goods. This will be just the start of new seasonal activities which will shape the experiences visitors can have in 2017.

Next year the local community and visitors from further afield will have the chance to leave a legacy in the lower fields by participating in the planting and then weaving of a willow tunnel.

Spring will encourage the planting of wild flower seeds on the banking which the house proudly sits upon. In the warmer months the Great Barn will host butter making and other traditional activities.

The long-horned cattle will arrive in early October; this is just the start of work which will evolve the fields and meadows.

Planning is currently in progress to approve a natural pond with a board walk, make getting up close and personal with nature even easier. Willow which overhangs the river will undergo careful pruning allowing the sun to warm the water encouraging no end of wildlife.

Further plans to extend the planting of hedgerows and trees are being supported by Woodland Trust and the Forest of Bradford who have donated hundreds of metres worth of trees and hedging.

East Riddlesden Hall has always been a part of the local community. There are many ways which you can get involved to support this conservation charity. Volunteering, family volunteering and visiteering (visit and volunteer) or becoming a member, your support is needed to bring the people and stories alive.

Please visit our website to see how you can play your part, at nationaltrust.org.uk/east-riddlesden-hall