The ownership of the Langstrath Valley in Borrowdale and Watendlath was originally granted to Fountains Abbey in 1195, however the rest of Borrowdale was sold to Furness Abbey in 1209. Due to the rich pastureland surrounding Stonethwaite both abbeys lay claim to it and this soon developed into a land dispute to such a degree that in 1304 King Edward I intervened and confiscated the land. However, the monks from Fountains outwitted their Cumbrian rivals and snapped up the land from the crown for a princely sum of 40 shillings (ex VAT..!!!) and so managed the area from their Abbey near Ripon.
Farming was the main industry at this time and then mining. Stonethwaite was built for the miners and farm workers. The Langstrath was originally a cottage built around 1590 for this purpose, though it was known as ‘Dove Cottage’. All that remains of the old cottage is the residents lounge with its original doorways and low oak lintols. Old photographs showing Dove Cottage as it was can be seen in and around the Inn.
Sometime after that it became known as Langstrath Cottage where from the early 1900’s it was run as a B&B. After the Second World War the old cottage was extended to what you see today and became known as The Langstrath Country Inn.