The History of Hebden and the Clarendon Hotel…
The name Hebden may be derived from either heope, Old English for a rose hip or heopa, Old English for a bramble and dene, Old English for a valley. Another suggestion is from the Scandinavian word, hebban, a word used to describe an elevated ridge above a small valley. Two bronze Age stone circles and remnants of huts found on the moors above the village show that the area has been settled since earliest times. A hoard of silver dinari dating from 30 to 170 AD found in a local field, indicates that the Romans also had presence in Hebden. This hoard can be seen on display at the Craven Museum and Gallery in Skipton. An Iron Age settlement has been identified on the banks of Gate up Gill to the north-west of the village. Place names such as Scale Haw indicate that the Norse also left their influence. There is no documentary record of the area until a mention in the Domesday Book of 1086, in which the area was referred to as Hebedene when it was owned by the Frenchman Osbern d’Arques. It appears our current owner, Lionel Strub is not the first Frenchman in Hebden!
During medieval times, an important droving route used to move sheep between winter pastures around Fountains Abbey and summer pastures around Malham, crossed the Hebden beck and became a busy packhorse route for traders. The Clarendon Hotel was erected to serve the passing trade.
The corn mill, constructed in the middle ages and the cotton mill and later lead mining were the industries that led the population of Hebden to increase. The population reached it’s peak in the 1850s when there were twice as many people living in hebden as there are today. As a result of the lead mining success in the area the old post office was built in the 1870s, main street was transformed from a back lane into the high street, the village school was built with a working clock and bell tower and the Ibbotson Institute which is now the village hall
The coming of the Yorkshire dales railway to Threshfield in 1902 opened up Hebden as a destination for day visitors and holiday makers.
Although it now has a number of second homes, holiday cottages and commuters, which eight working farms, a fish farm, coach and haulage companies, The Old school House Tea Rooms and The Clarendon Hotel, Hebden remains a working and thriving community.
The pub was first called The New Inn, then The Jolly Miner, then Oddfellows and since 1901 it named The Clarendon Hotel that we know today. It all it’s years of trading since 1753 it’s only been closed twice for a short periods each time. The Clarendon Hotel has barely changed over the years, welcoming locals, families, dogs, cyclists and now people from all over the world. We serve food not only food from Yorkshire but over 80 % of our produce is sourced in Hebden.
If you’re lucky you’ll see Johnny Jowett, the owner of the local trout farm showing his prowess on the piano. The Hebden shoot also leaves and returns to the pub. We have many photos of the shoot, downstairs in the bar.
Hebden has had a local shoot since 1801 and it remains true to it’s traditions of supplying us with game for our menu. Since taking over in 2014 our aim has always been to retain to tradition of a true rural pub. Our methods of serving local ales, using autovacs dates from Victorian times and we are one of the few pubs in the area still using the old methods.