Arkengarthdale is the most northerly Yorkshire Dale and is said to be named after Arkil, an 11th century Viking chieftain. Running through its valley is the Arkle Beck, joining the Swale at Reeth. In 1656 the people of London sold Arkengarthdale to Dr. John Bathurst, physician to Oliver Cromwell. The Bathurst family and its descendants did much to develop the lead mining industry in the dale, especially Dr. John’s son Charles, who gave his name and initials not only to the lead from the mines but also the CB Inn. Up the dale from the CB Inn is a triangular collection of cottages known as CB Yard. Now private dwellings, they were originally the administrative centre for lead mining in the dale, and would have housed the joiner’s workshop, a sawmill and smithy, as well as the offices and lodgings for the mine owner’s agent. In an adjoining field is the intriguing “Powder House”. Built in 1807, well away from the other buildings, it was used to store the gun powder and later Dynamite, used in the mines. The fuses were kept separately in one of the buildings in the yard.
There is an original, restored ore cart sited on the green at Langthwaite, and the associated interpretation board explains the carts use and gives further information on the lead mining industry in the dale.
Visitors to the dale cannot fail to notice Scar House, an imposing residence which now belongs to the Duke of Norfolk. Believed to be built by the Gilpin Brown family, benefactors of St. Mary’s church, the house passed to Lieutenant Colonel Guy Greville Wilson, DSO, CMG, who served in both the Boer and Great wars. An MP in Hull, he was said to procure “loose women” for his friend the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII! The house was sold in the early 1930’s to meet his gambling debts, to Sir Thomas Sopwith, renowned for the "Sopwith Camel” fighter plane. Lady Sopwith apparently disapproved that another large house, Eskeleth Hall, was set higher up than Scar House and had it demolished.