About

The White Lion is a traditional pub, without television, juke box, gaming machines or WiFi.

We serve real ales, real ciders and have a vast collection of Gin and Whisky, along with great home made food including many vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Our team consists of:  on the bar two fulltime staff, 2 part time staff; in the kitchen a chef/kitchen manager and a sous chef and a general manager and of course Lyn Gledhill, the Landlord.

The oldest part of the building is at the rear of the present layout  and dates back to the early 14th Century, at which time it faced the opposite way onto the Pack Horse route from Hebden Bridge to Nelson and Burnley.  This ran  along the rear of the present building. In the early 15th Century the new road was constructed and the old building was extended and the present frontage constructed facing the new road. Many of the buildings along Towngate and Smithwell Lane were constructed around this time, including the Cloth Hall, which was originally a single story building.

The pub was frequented by the Cragg Coiners during the late 16th Century.  We have a display of dies and coins in our dining room, which is certainly worth a visit.

We also have a collection of photographs of Dawson City, 1901 – 1907.  Dawson City was built to house the workers building the Withins and Gorple reservoirs which supply water to Halifax. Over 1000 men were employed at the peak of construction and many had their families living with them. The  ‘City’ had its own school, hospital and meeting room, and there was enough trade to support seven pubs in the village, and three houses of ill repute. 15 steam engines were used on the railway which ran from the ‘City’ to the construction site.  Each engine was dragged up Heptonstall hill on carts pulled by horses.

The village of Heptonstall

The commonly accepted meaning of the name Heptonstall is from the old English ‘hep’- wild rose or dog rose and ‘tunstall’ a farmstead where cattle were pastured.

Heptonstall is not mentioned in the Doomsday Book – a surprising omission as a hamlet certainly existed at that time.  At the time of the Norman conquest, the area was part of the Manor of Wakefield and as such belonged to the King.

with the population rising to over 4000 and some people became very wealthy.  Today the population is about 900 with another 1,400 living in the surrounding area. 

Heptonstall’s commercial success came to an end in the last years of the 18th Century.  The Rochdale canal provided a transport route for coal so steam powered mills were built in the hamlet, which has now become the town of Hebden Bridge; this resulted in the village of Heptonstall being left as an extraordinarily well preserved Penning hilltop settlement, conservation by default.

Decline continued until around 1970 when off comers discovered its delights.

The village now has 2 pubs, a bowling club,  a post office/shop, a tearoom, a museum and a newly opened workshop selling locally made crafts and jewellery and is frequented by walking groups and tourists.

Worth a visit for you and yours – Heptonstall  is a chilled Howarth without the shops……………………………….