York & North Yorkshire

Daleswoman Hannah Hauxwell dies aged 91

Hannah Hauxwell Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Hannah Hauxwell lived alone on her 80-acre farm following the death of her parents

A farmer whose frugal life in the Yorkshire Dales featured in a series of documentaries has died aged 91.

Hannah Hauxwell rose to fame in the 1970s as the star of several television programmes about her life in Baldersdale, near Barnard Castle.

She lived alone at Low Birk Hatt Farm with no electricity or running water.

Adrian Braddy, editor of the Dalesman Magazine, described her as "one of the last of many generations of tough Daleswomen".

More stories from across Yorkshire

The 1973 Yorkshire Television documentary Too Long A Winter chronicled Ms Hauxwell's life.

Viewers saw her struggle to run the 80-acre farm after the death of her parents, and attempting to survive on less than £200 per year.

'Very sociable'

Ms Hauxwell went on to feature in a number of further programmes, including one about her first trips outside the UK called An Innocent Abroad.

After she left Low Birk Hatt Farm in the 1980s, the fields around her former home were turned into a wildflower meadow, known as Hannah's Meadow.

Mr Braddy, a former neighbour of Ms Hauxwell, said that while people viewed her as an "isolated and lonely person" she was "very sociable with a great sense of humour".

"Hannah came to public attention because of her tough life in the Upper Dales," he said.

"People may be surprised to know her situation was not unique - at the time there were several women in a similar position.

"But the Hannah documentaries shone a spotlight on a little-known aspect of British life.

"She was one of the last of many generations of tough Daleswomen who had been left to manage a farm by themselves in difficult circumstances.

"Hannah will be remembered as a strong woman of the Dales and an inspiration to millions worldwide."

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites