Another characteristic feature of the Yorkshire Dales is the old stone barns dotted across the landscape. Some are still in good repair but many are crumbling and no longer used. There are reputed to be about 4500 field barns (in some dales there is one in nearly every field!) most dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. There are books devoted to them, and some have in recent times been converted into very desirable homes, but the vast majority just sit there, providing good subject matter for photographers and a bit of shelter from the wind for hikers eating their sandwiches!