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West Riding
Main Street, Dent.jpg
Main Street, Dent
Grid reference: SD704870
Location: 54°16’42"N, 2°27’20"W
Population: 785  (2011)
Post town: Sedbergh
Postcode: LA10
Dialling code: 015396
Local Government
Council: South Lakeland
Westmorland and Lonsdale

Dent is a village in the West Riding of Yorkshire. It lies in Dentdale, a narrow valley on the western slopes of the Pennines; one of the famed Yorkshire Dales. The village indeed is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Dent is to be found about four miles south-east of Sedbergh and about eight miles north-east of Kirkby Lonsdale, the closest town of neighbouring Westmorland.


Both place name and dialect evidence indicate that this area was settled by the Norse in the 10th century.[1] Geoffrey Hodgson, in 2008, argued that this invasion accounts for the high frequency of the 'Hodgson' surname in the area.[2]

Dent was the birthplace of Thomas de Dent, Lord Chief Justice of Ireland, in the early fourteenth century. The geologist Adam Sedgwick was born here in 1785.

Dentdale was one of the last Yorkshire Dales to be enclosed: Dent's Enclosure Award was made in 1859.[3]

Whilst fishing on the Dee at Dentdale in the 1840s, William Armstrong saw a waterwheel in action, supplying power to a marble quarry. It struck Armstrong that much of the available power was being wasted and it inspired him to design a successful hydraulic engine which began the accumulation of his wealth and industrial empire.

Dent, then in Yorkshire, was one of the sites for the Survey of English Dialects in the 1950s. A recording of the broadest local speech is available on the British Library's website.[4]

The village today

The Dent Brewery is an independent microbrewery in Cowgill, just above Dent.[5]

Dent was the original site of the Dent Folk Festival and is now the site of the Dent Music and Beer Festival at the end of June. The first event was held in 2009 and was hailed as a great success.[6]

Dent railway station on the Settle–Carlisle line is about four miles above the village at Denthead. Despite its name, it is actually in Cowgill. Nearby, the railway goes over a viaduct.

A long distance footpath, the Dales Way, passes through Dent and along Dentdale, and various types of accommodation are found here servicing walkers; a pub, B & B, a camp site.[7]

The parish

The parish of Dent includes the whole of Dentdale and the side valley of Deepdale. In addition to the village of Dent settlements in the parish includes the hamlets of Lenacre, Gawthrop, Cowgill and Stone House.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Dent)


  1. Hedevind, Bertil (1967) The Dialect of Dentdale in the West Riding of Yorkshire (Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis)
  2. Hodgson, Geoffrey M. (2008) Hodgson Saga, second edition (Standon, Hertfordshire: Martlet Books).
  3. Geoffrey N. Wright: 'Roads and Trackways of the Yorkshire Dales' ISBN 0-86190-410-9
  4. Survey of English Dialects: Dent (British Library)
  5. Dent Brewery
  6. Dent Music and Beer Festival
  7. Accommodation on the Dales Way