Originally a Saxon settlement, Reeth was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The name comes from old English, meaning ‘the place by the stream’ and is surrounded by the heather moorland-topped fells of Fremington Edge and Calver Hill.
Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, the two most northerly of the Yorkshire Dales, meet in Reeth. The village was the centre of the lead mining industry, at its height in the mid 19th century, but uncertainties often meant miners needed poor relief, so Reeth workhouse was built in Back Lane in 1753. Despite its remoteness, the village was supplied with electricity before Middlesbrough and nowadays Reeth is at the heart of the local farming community.
The houses, pubs and shops cluster round the triangular village green, with its traditional cobbles. Nowadays Reeth has a thriving art community and there are many shops, galleries and cafés (and a Friday market) offering unique local crafts, furniture, foods and clothing. Many events take place on the green during the year, including quoits and firework displays. The highlights of the year are the Swaledale Festival, which includes walks, concerts and talks, and Reeth Show.