Mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, Denton's name means 'farmstead in the valley'. Situated north east of Ilkley in an agricultural setting, this is an apt description. Denton Hall and Park lies just outside the village boundaries. The Hall as it now stands was completed in 1778 by John Carr, an associate of the renowned architect Robert Adam.
The fields are divided by stone walls and very much form part of the village landscape, rather than enclosing it.
There are 16 listed buildings, including the Church of St Helen. This was built in 1776 and is a rare example of a Georgian church in its original state rather than 'improved' by the Victorians.
Sandstone and gritstone are the favoured building materials with roofs being of stone slate and then later Welsh slate. The general style of the buildings is vernacular.