Gunnerside was originally two different villages separated by the beck – Gunnerside was the settlement on the west side and Lodge Green the other. Named after the Viking, Gunnar, the village thrived during lead mining times when people worked, played and prayed hard. Miners would walk up Gunnerside Ghyll to work, women as well as men, knitting socks as they walked. Some workings are many miles up the ghyll, reasonable enough on a sunny day, but not much fun in the depths of winter!
The huge Methodist Chapel is testament to the leadmining heyday, where a large gallery accommodated the many miners and their families who lived in the village and surrounding area.
There were also at least two pubs in the village, the present King's Head and the Miner's Arms, near the grassy island.
Walk up the ghyll nowadays to see the extensive ruins of mine workings and, in passing, note Gunnersghyll Hall, the old Church of England school and schoolhouse, now listed.
Nowadays, only the King's Head remains, also listed, and a tearoom. The old smithy, however, is still in use by the sixth generation of the same family of blacksmiths, with a local museum attached, documenting dales life over the years. The Rose Arch on the grassy island is designed by Stephen Calvert, the blacksmith, and was unveiled as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.