Sedbergh is a town of about 3,000 people in the Yorkshire Dales National Park in north-west England. An ancient market town, Sedbergh has a famous public school, Sedbergh School, it has a thriving main street of shops, ancient buildings, and is surrounded by moorland hills.
It’s possible that the name “Sedbergh” was derived from the Norse “Set Berg” meaning “flat-topped hill”. Sedbergh is mentioned in the Doomsday Book and there was a Norman motte and bailey castle situated at Castlehaw at the eastern end of the town.
The town was granted a market charter by Henry III in 1251.
George Fox, founder of the Quakers, preached to a congregation of a thousand from a large rock on the fellside, which became known as Fox’s Pulpit, at nearby Firbank in 1652 in the early days of the Quaker movement. The Quaker meeting house at Brigflatts, about 2 miles south of Sedbergh on the A683 to Kirkby Lonsdale, dates from 1675 and is the oldest Quaker meeting house in the North of England. It retains many of the original oak furnishings in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
Sedbergh was formerly in the West Riding of Yorkshire until county boundaries were re-arranged in 1974 and it became part of Cumbria whilst still remaining in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The town, famous for its public school and for being one of Britain’s leading ‘Book Towns’, enjoys an enviable position close to where Garsdale and Dentdale meet, under the massive backdrop of the Howgill Fells, a magnificent area of rolling hills and open common land, which is a walker’s paradise and provides grazing land for small groups of wild fell ponies.
The steep summit of Winder Fell (473 metres) overlooks the compact little town with its fine medieval church and ruined mott and bailey castle. Within the town is everything you expect from a thriving small community, with traditional country pubs, small cafes and coffee shops, a greengrocers, florist, newsagent, post office and tourist information centre. Being England’s book town there is numerous individual book shops and dealers.
Just a mile outside the town is Sedbergh Golf Club, a stunning parkland layout with beautiful scenery. The friendly club welcomes visitors every day of the week.
Farfield Mill Arts & Heritage Centre is also a wonderful attraction for art and craft lovers.
With its narrow, cobbled main street, white-walled cottages and ancient village church, set in a deep, narrow valley, Dent is one of the loveliest of Dales villages.
In the centre of the village you will find an art gallery, blacksmith’s shop and a memorial fountain to its famous son, geologist Professor Adam Sedgwick, 1785-1874. Sedgwick, who was the Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge University, one of the great founding fathers of the modern science of geology, friend of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, teacher and later opponent of Charles Darwin, was a great benefactor and historian of his native Dentdale.
The twelfth century church of St. Andrew contains altar flagstones made from the beautiful black Dent Marble, the area’s most famous mining export.
The working lives and social customs of local people since the sixteenth century – including the ‘Terrible Knitters of Dent’ – are revealed at the Dent Village Heritage Centre.
Located at Denthead the station is the highest station on any railway in England. It’s also one of the most remote as it is 4½ miles (7km) from Dent village. The station is on the Settle – Carlisle line which carries you over the impressive viaducts at Dent Head and Arten Gill as you travel through the dale.
Lovely family friendly house. A nice drive away from the splendour of the Lakes.