Bentham, North Yorkshire

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High Bentham main street
Bentham is located in North Yorkshire
Bentham shown within North Yorkshire
Population 3,027 (2011 census)[1]
OS grid reference SD666693
Civil parish
  • Bentham
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district LA2
Dialling code 015242
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
List of places
54°07′05″N 2°30′36″W / 54.118°N 2.510°W / 54.118; -2.510Coordinates: 54°07′05″N 2°30′36″W / 54.118°N 2.510°W / 54.118; -2.510

Bentham is a civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England, with a population of 3,027 at the 2011 Census.[1] The parish includes the small town of High Bentham, sometimes known as Higher Bentham or just Bentham, and the older village of Low Bentham. Bentham has a few youth groups for teenagers at the BYC (Bentham Youth Café) which is on the Main Street, Mondays Youth Club which is held by 4Youth and a separate youth drop-in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays run by and held at the Youth Cafe. There is also Springboard and Adventurers at the Methodist Church for younger children.

The town lies on the River Wenning, west of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and on the northern edge of the Forest of Bowland. The original centre lay in Low Bentham, but a market was granted to High Bentham in the 14th century, and it became a centre for weaving from the 18th century, particularly after weavers in the town discovered how to weave hosepipes from flax.[2]

Airedale NHS Trust covers Bentham for health matters.


An electoral ward in the same name exists. This ward includes Burton in Lonsdale and has a total population taken at the 2011 census of 3,606.[3]

Public houses[edit]

High Bentham has several pubs: the Black Bull, the Hogs and Heifers, The Horse and Farrier, and The Coach House[4] The Coach House was previously called The Brown Cow. The town's pubs, and Working Mens Club play host to a number of events.

There are also two Bar/Eateries called The Black Pig and The Angus Depot.

Low Bentham has two pubs, the Sundial and the Punch Bowl.


The Leeds to Morecambe railway passes through the unmanned Bentham Station. The station was opened in 1850 and has about 18000 users per year. When it first opened it was owned by the "Little" North Western Railway, it was later bought by the Midland Railway and is now operated by Northern.It has recently undergone improvements including the addition of a new information board and flowers being added around the station.


Bentham has its own heritage trail. There are three trails, named purple, pink and blue. The Purple Trail is 2 miles (3.2 km) long. This route goes through Ridding Lane Farm and over Shaky Bridge, and has stone styles and lots of plants and flowers. The Pink Trail is 5 miles (8.0 km) long. In addition to the purple trail it also visits the Old Quarry. The difference is that a small part of the journey, about 0.3 miles (0.48 km) is on the road. The Blue Trail comes in longest of all at over 9 miles (14 km) but will have the most to see. It also has ladder stiles and it passes the Great Stone of Fourstones, known locally as Big Stone.


There are two churches in High Bentham: St Boniface Roman Catholic Church and Bentham Methodist Chapel. St John the Baptist Church and Bentham Quakers Meeting House are in Low Bentham.[5] Recently, the St Margaret's Church in High Bentham has closed due to the building being unstable and a failure to raise funds for any repairs.

St John the Baptist Church[edit]

St John the Baptist church

St John the Baptist Church is one of the oldest churches in the area, and was noted in the Domesday Book in 1086. During restoration work in the 19th century, a Saxon cross was discovered in the wall of the tower, and blackened stones in the tower wall are evidence that it was almost totally destroyed by fire after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The church contains a display of Tudor glass, which is similar to some of the glass in York Minster. The present building was built in the 1870s by Richard Norman Shaw, and includes an ancient coffin slab dating from about 1340; the Kirkbeck Stone dating from the 17th century; a 15th-century bell hanging in the porch; and a reredos in Caen stone with marble panels. The church reputedly has the heaviest peal of six bells in Yorkshire, and together weigh 7,500 pounds (3,400 kg). The old organ, which is no longer playable, was built by William Hill of London as a "house organ" for Walker Joy, a prosperous oil merchant in Leeds; his brother designed a hydraulic engine to pump the bellows, making it the first ever to be blown by mechanical power. The churchyard contains a memorial to Robert Poole, a gravedigger, consisting of a sculptured shovel leaning against a tree trunk.[5] It is a grade II* listed building.[6]

Bentham Golf Club[edit]

Bentham Golf Club is located on Robin Lane.[7] Is an 18-hole course which was established in the 1920s. There are views of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. It has been recently bought by new owners and is no longer owned by the members of the club. It has a members club for all ages, and no level of skill is required to play golf there. It has been described as the Augusta of the Dales because it has seven ponds and features brilliant views.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]