Two very contrasting pubs - Autumn 2010
This edition highlights two very different public houses, one a rural, traditional Yorkshire Dales inn and the other a busy urban community pub.
Deep in the Yorkshire Dales National Park there lies a hamlet which has been inhabited since the Iron Age. Stamphotne, listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 and now known as Starbotton exists today with a population of about 75. It’s situated on the River Wharfe opposite the Dales Way trail and lies 15 miles north of Skipton, halfway between Kettlewell and Buckden. Starbotton boasts a couple of working farms, numerous pack horse trails used in monastic times, a Quaker burial ground and has no church but does have a pub, the Fox and Hounds.
A pretty whitewashed stone building, the Fox & Hounds dates back 400 years with it being licensed premises for the last 170 of those. The single bar inn boasts a large stone fireplace, oak beams and a flagstone floor with a small dining area to the right of the bar. Upon entering you will always be greeted by mine host Mike Senior serving LocALe beers, Black Sheep Bitter, Timothy Taylor Landlord and a guest beer from Yorkshire Dales Brewery. Mike and his wife Eileen have been at the Fox & Hounds since 2001 and offer home cooked food as well as accommodation in the form of 3 en-suite double rooms. Used as both a base and stopping point by visitors enjoying the beautiful upper Wharfedale area the Fox & Hounds offers up tradition in a world sadly lacking it at times. Food, drink and conversation are definitely the order of the day. An outside drinking area provides excellent views of the surrounding countryside and a car park is available for those travelling in vehicles instead of by foot. Kettlewell is the hub of the area and there are three pubs there which many visitors frequent, but it’s well worth travelling that little bit further up the road to visit Starbotton and a well run traditional hostelry, the Fox & Hounds.
The Fox & Hounds, Starbotton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5HY, 01756 760269 Opening times: Tuesday - Sunday 11.30 - 3.00 & 6.00 - 11.00; closed Mondays except for Bank Holidays.Website: www.foxandhounds-starbotton.com
Back in West Yorkshire along the busy A629 Halifax Road is a junction leading in the directions of Haworth, Keighley and Denholme. Known as Cross Roads it is connected with Lees (a small separate village) and sign posts will display Lees-Cum-Crossroads. Inexorably linked with Haworth, Crossroads does have its own history. The Brigantes fought the Romans here and the track eventually became part of the Roman Road to Ilkley. Documents of the area date back to 1338, water powered mills appeared in the 1500s and the main road from Ingrow to Denholme was built in 1794 which created a boom of industrial activity. By 1851 Cross Roads was fully established as a wool producing community with 90% of the population involved in the industry. The Brontë sisters lived nearby but other literary talents such as the poet Joseph Hardaker and author Halliwell Sutcliffe actually lived in Cross Roads.
The Crossroads Inn is situated squarely at the crossing of the roads, a solid structure made of local Yorkshire stone, and it has witnessed many changes in the area. Supposedly a one-time haunt of Branwell Bronte, today it is a single-bar open-plan pub with a large function room. At the back of the good sized car park there is an outdoor drinking area with picnic tables overlooking Cross Roads Park. A Copper Dragon tied pub, LocAles on offer include Black Gold, Golden Pippin and Best Bitter as well as a changing guest beer which gives customers an interesting choice. Friendly and welcoming service from Paula awaits you in this thriving community pub. All are welcome and an assortment of music evenings and special events encourage customers through the door. Regular acoustic and electric jam nights, live bands, discos, bingo evenings and a poker league offer something for everyone. Home cooked food is available Mon - Fri 12.00 - 6.00 and Sat - Sun 8.30 - 6.00 (breakfast 8.30 - 11.30). The next time you find yourself passing this crossing of the roads, make the effort to stop and visit the Crossroads Inn.
The Crossroads Inn, 1 Halifax Road, Cross Roads, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD22 9BG, 01535 543047 Opening times: Mon - Fri 12.00 - 12.00; Sat - Sun 8.30 - 12.00 Website: www.crossroadsinncrossroads.co.uk