The Station Inn, licensed in 1879, was built around the same time as the viaduct and doubled as both farm and hostelry both a pub and a farm. John Kilburn, who was the local school master for over 30 years, was its first landlord. With John already in his late 70s much of the work fell to his wife Sarah and their son Tom, who later took over from his father. By the 1960’s much of the accompanying farm land had been sold off with the last landlords to still operate both Inn and (by then) a small holding being Dorothy and John Menheneott.
In the late 1970’s landlord John Giles refurbished much of the downstairs public areas including both opening up the area where the bar now stands which used to be a hay barn and replacing the river fed water system with the pubs own bore hole through which fresh dales water is extracted from deep beneath the limestone the Inn stands on. 2018 saw the first major refurbishment for almost forty years with the former stone bar moved from the middle of the building to its current resting position creating a much more open feel to the Inn and the impressive traditional Victorian range being installed in the snug to create another comfortable and warm space for visitors to rest after a day out in the Dales. Down the years the building has seen many changes, for example the pool area was once a hay barn and traces of the original loft ladder still remain.
The Station Inn benefits from being located next to the famous Ribblehead Viaduct that crosses the wide expanse of ground, known as Batty Moss, in the run up to the foot of Whernside. Looking across Batty Moss from the back window of The Station Inn, it is hard to believe that up to 2000 workers were housed from Batty Moss to the mouth of the Blea Moor tunnel in settlements with outlandish names such as Sebastopol, Belgravia, Jericho, Jerusalem and Tunnel Huts. Built in 1872, the Viaduct comprises of 24 arches, each standing 155 feet high, and is the most impressive of all the many viaducts supporting the 72 mile long Settle to Carlisle Railway. This railway represented Victorian endeavour on a grand scale and was without doubt a major feat of engineering. It was described by The Lancaster Guardian on May 6 1876 as follows:
The country through which the line passes is amongst the wildest and most romantic in England. It is a continued succession of high hills with intervening valleys, so that the line is alternately carried over viaducts, or through cuttings, or under hills hundreds of feet in height.
First and foremost The Station Inn is a traditional inn for the thriving local community. It is the warm welcome extended by both staff and regulars that makes The Station Inn feel like home for those visitors whose homes are perhaps hundreds of miles away from the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales.
The pub boasts a large car park which can accommodate up to 50 vehicles. Camper vans are welcome for overnight stays. The Station Inn is also a popular stop for cyclists who like to take advantage of the miles of green lanes that cross the Yorkshire Dales, and is also a favourite of motorcyclists who are in the area to enjoy the stunning local routes. There is plenty of common land at the back of the pub and Ribblehead Station is directly opposite with its train connections to Carlisle in the north and Leeds in the south. There are all manner of easy ways to get to The Station Inn but, regardless of how you arrive, we are committed to ensuring you leave happy and keen to return!
The Station Inn provides a perfect base for a host of activities. These include pot holing in the many challenging caves in the area – Alum Pot, Great Douk Cave and Batty Wife Cave to name but a few. The area is hugely popular with walkers and there are many footpaths and long distance tracks that pass close by, among them: The Dales Way, The Pennine Way, The Ribble Valley Way and The Centurion Way. The Station Inn is the perfect pit stop, meal provider or overnight option for Yorkshire Dales walkers. Many visitors choose to use The Station Inn as their base whilst attempting the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – namely a successful ascent of Whernside (736m), Ingleborough (724m) and Pen-Y-Ghent (693m), in 12 hours.