Kettlewell History




New Leeds Road

It is believed that the name Kettlewell is Anglo Saxon and comes from Cetel Wella which means a bubbling spring or stream, and signs of their farming methods can still be seen in terraced fields to the south of the village. Traces of Briganties and Roman occupation have also been found.

Kettlewell was mentioned in the Doomsday book, and has had a long and varied history.
There was once a busy and important Thursday Market mainly selling corn an
d took place in the square opposite the Kings Head Inn.

Every year three fairs were held in the village, one of which was a hiring fair where men and women came from Westmoorland to be hired.

In 1410 King Henry gave license to Ralph Earl of Westmoorland to enclose 300 acres of land for hunting and a deer park. This was called Scale Park and is on the Park Rash Road over to Coverdale.

One of the most marked features of Kettlewell are the dry stone walls. These were mainly built in the latter part of the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, and were built by the land owners and freeholders of the village.

Cotton and lead mining played an important part in the history of the village. Lead mining bought prosperity to the village in the 17th century but closed in the late 19th century. One ofthe most profitable was Old Providence which was worked by the Kettlewell Mining Co. In 1838 Kettlewell boasted a cotton mill, three blacksmiths, two joiners, five inns, twoshoemakers, a surgeon and a tailor.

Opposite today’s Village Store stood the corn mill and in the early part of the 19th century this was turned into a cotton mill but was demolished in 1876. Remains of the milldam are still visible today.


In those far off days the village stocks must often been in use as a warning to the misbehavers of the time, the restored stocks can still be seen standing in the small War Memorial garden near to the village maypole.

In 1997 workers digging near Kettlewell discovered a Dark Age burial site. The skeleton was of a woman; she was buried in a crouching position, and lived around 1400 years ago making her one of our earliest inhabitants.

What a different way of life she would see today, but the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales does not change and walking around Kettlewell with its weathered houses, you can see why people have chosen this village to live in and visit, as it has been for generations in the past and in the future.