Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

Ravenstonedale Millennium Map

The Millennium Map for the parish of Ravenstonedale is a double sided map consisting of pen and ink drawings of Ravenstonedale with a millennium theme. The map was illustrated by local artists David Morris, Caroline Metcalf-Gibson and Tom Oldham and took 3 years to complete. It was a lottery funded project completed in the summer of 2001. The map measures 59.5cm x 42cm and copies can be purchased from the Scar Art Gallery in Ravenstonedale.

There is also an interactive version of the map - interactive map.

The interactive map contains hotspots that, when clicked, display the original contributions to the Millennium Map from the inhabitants of Ravenstonedale Parish in the year 2000. Links from the interactive map are listed here...

beckstones, blacksmiths, bleaflatt lane, dubbs, elm lodge, fell end chapel, green bell, kilnmire, manor house, new chapel, park house farm, primitive methodist chapel, pump house, roads, stone faces, town herad cottage, weasdale, weasdale 2, weasdale 3.

Side 1. Drawings depicting the Parish

Millennium Map Side 1

Side 2 Drawings of the 2 Villages

Millenium Map Side 2

The Concept

Collection formPrior to the turn of the century the government indicated that grants would be made available from National Lottery funds to sponsor projects to mark the millennium around the UK. The idea of creating a millennium map orginated in the summer of 1998 in response to this government initiative. The idea of creating a map originally came from Caroline Metcalf Gibson. Caroline, together with Hilary Mirrey and others, convened a meeting in the summer of 1998 to discuss this and other ideas for which funding might be available to the benefit of the parish.

The Steering Group

Following the meeting in the summer of 1998 a steering group was formed to drive the map project forwards. This group consisted of David Morris, Caroline Metcalf-Gibson, Barbara Godden, Dick Capel, John Bull, Ken Trimmer and Richard Metcalf-Gibson. Tom Oldham later joined the group. Richard Metcalf-Gibson co-ordinated the project.

Collecting Data for the Map

Barbara Godden, head teacher at the school, proposed the mechanism which was subsequently used to collect the information needed to create the map. Barbara designed a questionnaire which invited parishioners to provide contributions on local or social history, the environment or indeed on any topic of interest relating to the parish. In November 1998 nine copies of the questionnaire were distributed to the different regions of the parish by children from the school with a request that they be passed from house to house before being returned to Barbara or Caroline. Contributions from the people of the parish accumulated over the next few months and by the summer of 1999 the nine questionnaires had been returned.

Creating the Map

The task of transforming the 9 completed questionnaires into a map commenced under the direction of David Morris in the summer of 1999. Initial meetings of the steering group considered a range of possible formats for the map including the possibility of a large ceramic map to be located in the vestry of St. Oswald's church. Over a series of meetings the questionairres were disseminated and individual contributions were transferred in the form of labels on to a draft outline map of the parish hung on a wall in the artists' studio at the Manor House. As the contributions gradually filled up the map it became apparent to the group that the best way to represent them would be ink drawings accompanied by brief textual descriptions. This task was commenced in the spring of 2000. The anticipated completion date was Christmas 2000. In fact the map was not completed until the summer of 2001.

Richard, David and Caroline study maps of the parish in March 2000 with a view to creating an outline drawing of a parish map on which to place labels representing contributions from parishioners. Click on image to enlarge.

Richard, David and Caroline

The first label goes on to the map in March 2000.
Click on image to enlarge.

The first label

One week later the number of labels has increased dramatically.
Click on image to enlarge.

One week later

The steering group examine commercial maps for ideas on how to produce the Ravenstonedale parish map.
Click on image to enlarge.

The steering group

Working on the map in October 2000.
Click on image to enlarge.

David and Caroline work on the map

The map takes shape in October 2000.
Click on image to enlarge.

Detail from map as it was in October 2000

Detail from map as it was in October 2000.
Click on image to enlarge.

The Booklet

The contributions returned on the 9 questionnaires made fascinating reading and the group quickly determined that they should all be used in creating the map. However it proved difficult to devise how some contributions could be transformed into illustrations to be used on the map and consequently the idea of publishing a booklet to accompany the map was envisaged. The booklet was to contain all contibutions in their original form without adaptations. This decision was taken in order to retain the feeling of warmth and involvement evident in many of the contributions so giving an insight into the character of some local people at the time of the millennium. The booklet was eventually published by Chris Irwin of The Book House, Ravenstonedale.

The Illustrators

David Morris, Caroline Metcalf-Gibson, Tom Oldham