The Ben Rhydding Hydro circa 1858 – since demolished
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|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
The village's former name was Wheatley. In the 19th century it was noted for its hydropathic establishment that opened on 29 March 1844 at a cost of £30,000. It was the third major hydropathic establishment in England, "perhaps the most deeply respected and certainly the longest-lived". Ben Rhydding, the name given to the establishment, also given to the railway station built to serve it and by which the village subsequently became known, is allegedly the ancient name of the uplands above Wheatley. In a 1900 history of Upper Wharfedale, a footnote describes the circumstances, citing Collyer's History of Ilkley:
Dr. Collyer writes that when Ben Rhydding was building, and the founders were casting about for a name, the matter came up in the "pint-pot parliament", which had sat at the Wheat Sheaf in Ilkley time out of mind. Mr. Hamer Stansfeld (the founder) wanted "a good an ancient name", and was particularly wishful to know what the upland was called in the old times on which Ben Rhydding is built. Nancy Wharton, our hostess, said she knew, and gave us the name Ben (not Bean) Rydding. It had passed out the common memory, but had survived by some good hap in Nancy's mind, and it was from this little seed the name sprang again which has become famous.
Ben Rhydding is a predominantly residential area of Ilkley, served by a railway station, public house, two petrol stations, two churches and local shops but relying on the town for shopping and civic facilities. A picturesque nine-hole golf course remains as a legacy of the hydropathic hotel. The village is within the travel to work area of Bradford and Leeds.
- Durie, Alastair J Water is best: the hydros and health tourism in Scotland 1840-1940 (John Donald, 2006) p.14
- Shifrin, Malcolm (3 October 2008). "Ilkley: Ben Rhydding Hydro". Victorian Turkish Baths: Their origin, development, and gradual decline. Retrieved 12 December 2009.
- Price, R. (1981), pp.273-74
- Upper Wharfedale, by Harry Speight, 1900, from Microsoft Live Search Books
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ben Rhydding.|
- Conservation Area Assessment for Ben Rhydding, dated 2003, from the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
- Memorials from Ben Rhydding, by John Pringle Nichol, published by Charles Gilpin, 1852
- Ben Rhydding: the principles of hydropathy and the compressed air bath, by 'A graduate of the Edinburgh university', published by Hamilton Adams & Co, 1858
- Ben Rhydding described in Black's Picturesque Tourist of Scotland, 1861, from Google Book Search
- Ben Rhydding: the Asclepia of England, by Rev. R. Woodrow Thomson, published by John Shuttleworth, 1862
- Ben Rhydding at Curlie.