Keld is a hamlet at the head of Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.The name derives from the Viking word Kelda meaning a spring, and the village was once called Appletre Kelde - the spring near the apple trees.
Keld is the crossing point of the Coast to Coast Walk and the Pennine Way long distance footpaths so this is good walking country and a great area to take advantage of the fantastic scenery in the National Park. At the height of the lead-mining boom in Swaledale in the late 19th century, the village had a population of around 6,000. During this period, a series of remarkable buildings - now Grade II listed - were erected: these include the Congregational and Methodist chapels (of which The Manse is one), the school and the Literary Institute.
Keld has a seasonal tearoom in the centre of the village and there is also Keld Lodge on the edge of the village which is owned by friends of ours Nick and Karen Glanvill. Keld Lodge is principally a walker’s hotel with a bar and restaurant-rest assured that the atmosphere is informal and you will receive a warm and friendly welcome here.
The River Swale is close by and there is a series of four waterfalls close to Keld in the limestone gorge carved by the Swale and these are Kisdon Force, East Gill Force, Catrake Force and Wain Wath Force (force is the local dialect word for waterfall).
The Keld Resource Centre, a local charity, is restoring a series of listed buildings in the village centre and returning them to community use. The first phase involved restoration of the Manse, the Minister's house attached to the United Reformed Church was completed in 2009 and is now in use as a holiday cottage, proceeds from which support the Centre's work.
In 2010, the Centre created the Keld Well-being Garden in the chapel churchyard. It provides a quiet spot for visitors to contemplate their well-being in the beautiful natural environment of Upper Swaledale.
The Centre's latest project is the Keld Countryside and Heritage Centre. Opened on 14 May 2011, the centre provides interpretation of the countryside, built and social history of Keld, and a small display of artefacts relevant to Upper Swaledale. It is open throughout the year.
Whilst only a small hamlet this is a thriving local community who are passionate about the locality and wish to share it and its history with visitors to the area.