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The charming and tranquil village of Kettlewell lies in Upper Wharfedale and is situated 6 miles (10 km) to the north of Grassington. The village sits at the foot of Great Whernside, which summit rises to 704 metres (2,310 feet), making it the highest point of the eastern flank of Wharfedale, the summit is a plateau strewn with rocks of millstone grit, from which the mountain derives its name, quern means"millstone".
Kettlewell's name derives from the Anglo Saxon Chetelewelle which means a bubbling spring or stream.
A market was established in Kettlewell in the thirteenth century, which led to the village becoming a thriving community. The Thursday market mostly sold corn outside the King Arms. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, lead mining revitalised the village. The remains of the smelting-mill, which was in use from 1700 to 1880, can be seen near the meeting of Cam Gill and Dowber Gill Becks half a mile above the village.
Surrounded by the stunning countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, the village makes an ideal base for exploring the area and is popular with walkers and cyclists. Kettlewell has a Hotel and two Inns offering quality accommodation and good food, there is also a general store, post office, clothing shop, gift shop and caravan and camp site, youth hostel and many guest houses and holiday cottages. Some of the cottages in the village date back more than 300 years.
Ewedale Model Village is situated below the Kettlewell Village Store. It appeals to all ages and provides lots of interactive vehicles which can be driven along the village streets.
Cam Beck flows though the village from Great Whernside, joined by Dowber Gill Beck, to meet the River Wharfe. The first church in Kettlewell was constructed around about 1120 and was a simple building with only an aisle-less nave and without a tower. Of this church, all that remains is a font with a boar's head carving. The Norman church was demolished in 1820, and a new church by Thomas Anderson was built in its place. Most of the church was demolished and again replaced in 1883 with a further building, with the exception of the Georgian tower.
Kilnsey Crag stands near to the vilage, the cliff rises to 170 feet and attracts climbers from all over the country. Legend has it that a witch called Old Nan used to live under the crag in the eighteenth century. Folktales relate that she had a stall in Skipton market where she would tell people their fortunes.
Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival has been a village tradition for over ten years. Locals and visitors create an eclectic mix of scarecrows, using whatever resources they have, the scarecrows are then placed on a trail.
The Scarecrow Festival first came to Kettlewell in 1994 when a fund raising event was organised for the local school which serves much of Upper Wharfedale with its villages, isolated hamlets and remote farms. The enthusiastic response of parents and residents led to over 100 scarecrows appearing in gardens, open spaces, hidden corners and even on rooftops. The event was successfully repeated and, growing year by year, now attracts thousands of visitors over nine days in August.