top of page
A long history

The earliest recorded inn keeper in Dent is Richard Hodgson, ‘common brewer’ in 1523, in the reign of Henry VIII.

    Edward Hodgson is listed in 1610, in the reign of James I. Neither the name of the inn nor its location in Dent is named, but it was probably on the central site, near the western entrance to Dent churchyard, later occupied by the Sun.

    In the mid-1700s the inn was owned by John Brown, who sold it to William Metcalfe in about 1750. So far, no details. But by a deed dated 3 March 1758 ‘a Brewhouse and Inn’ were sold by Metcalfe to John Ridding, who in 1780 bequeathed to his son-in-law Richard Haygarth and his wife Alice ‘all the dwelling house and Public Inn, situate, standing and being on the west side of the street leading through the said Town [Dent], called and commonly known by the name and Sign of the Sunn, together with yard, backside, stable and garden’.  This is the earliest record of the Sun by name.

    In 1822 Alice Haygarth sold to William Robinson for £350 ‘the Inn known by the name of the Sign of the Sun [correctly spelt this time] ‘together with brewhouse, carthouse, boghouse, backsides, curtilages, lands, grounds, walls, waters, watercourses, sinks, conduits, ways, roads, etc.’ [Nothing left to chance there!].

    Robinson installed Daniel Alderson and his wife Peggy as innkeepers. Daniel was the son of Richard Alderson, the Quaker founder of Dent marble works. The Sun changed hands again in 1840 when it was bought by Thomas Moore, an Ingleton businessman, for £525. He was 

The Sun Inn is tied to the village and people of Dent.

reputedly the best fiddler in the whole of the West Riding, Moore had received a legacy from his wealthy cousin Ann Sill, the owner of a slave plantation in Jamaica.

    He installed as innkeeper his son Peter, on his marriage to the widowed Peggy Alderson – her third husband. Peter was described as ‘farmer and innkeeper’.

    In 1865 when Peter Moore died the inn was sold by auction to Thomas Parrington for £380 9s.6. The sale included ‘a shop or warehouse with two stables and hay chamber’. In 1898 it was sold to Kendal brewers Whitwell, Marks &

Co Ltd – the first time it had (temporarily) passed out of local ownership. Through the nineteenth and into the twentieth century the Sun Inn had competitors in the White Hart and the King’s Arms.

    They faded away. The Sun continued to shine, as it has done without a single sunset for three centuries.

Extract from Dentdale: the life story of a Dales community by David Boulton (resident of Dent).

bottom of page