Named from the Viking word Kelda, meaning spring, Keld was once a bustling village, reputedly with 6,000 inhabitants in the late 1800s. This was when lead mining was at its most prosperous and some notable buildings remain from this time, including the Methodist Chapel (now closed) and the United Reformed Church.
The village, although having no shop, now has a hotel, Keld Lodge, and a campsite where they also sell snacks and ices. For over 50 years there was no pub; the popular Cat Hole Inn was sold at auction in 1954 to a local Methodist preacher, who took away the licence. Previous to that, it was so popular, many old postcards of it still exist.
Keld is on the Coast to Coast walk and the Pennine Way. One footpath takes you past the ruins of Crackpot Hall, an impressive 18th century building with wonderful views overlooking the river Swale below. keld also boasts more waterfalls than anywhere else in the country.