The Ben Rhydding Hydro circa 1858 – since demolished
|OS grid reference||SE13304763|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Ben Rhydding is a village in the City of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It is part of the Ilkley urban area and civil parish.
The village is situated on a north-facing valley side beneath the Cow and Calf rocks and above and to the south of the River Wharfe. It was in the historic West Riding of Yorkshire.
The village's former name was Wheatley. In the 19th century it was noted for its hydropathic establishment that opened on 29 March 1844 at a cost of £30,000. It was the third major hydropathic establishment in England, "perhaps the most deeply respected and certainly the longest-lived". Ben Rhydding, the name given to the establishment, also given to the railway station built to serve it and by which the village subsequently became known, is allegedly the ancient name of the uplands above Wheatley. In a 1900 history of Upper Wharfedale, a footnote describes the circumstances, citing Collyer's History of Ilkley:
Dr. Collyer writes that when Ben Rhydding was building, and the founders were casting about for a name, the matter came up in the "pint-pot parliament", which had sat at the Wheat Sheaf in Ilkley time out of mind. Mr. Hamer Stansfeld (the founder) wanted "a good an ancient name", and was particularly wishful to know what the upland was called in the old times on which Ben Rhydding is built. Nancy Wharton, our hostess, said she knew, and gave us the name Ben (not Bean) Rydding. It had passed out the common memory, but had survived by some good hap in Nancy's mind, and it was from this little seed the name sprang again which has become famous.
Ben Rhydding is served by a railway station, public house, two petrol stations, two churches and local shops but relying on nearby Ilkley for shopping and civic facilities.
Ben Rhydding Hockey Club are located at Countances Way, with Men's and Women's teams competing in the England Hockey leagues.