Sedbergh is located in the former South Lakeland district
Location in the former South Lakeland district
Sedbergh is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population2,765 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSD6592
Civil parish
  • Sedbergh
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLA10
Dialling code015396
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
54°19′19″N 2°31′34″W / 54.322°N 2.526°W / 54.322; -2.526
Ingmire Hall, from the south

Sedbergh (/ˈsɛdbər/ SED-bər or locally /ˈsɛbər/ SEB-ər) is a town and civil parish in the ceremonial county of Cumbria. It falls within the historic boundaries of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Since April 2023, it has been administered by Westmorland and Furness local authority. The 2001 census gave the parish a population of 2,705,[2] increasing at the 2011 census to 2,765.[1] It lies about 10 miles (16 km) east of Kendal,[3] 28 miles (45 km) north of Lancaster and about 10 miles (16 km) north of Kirkby Lonsdale, within the Yorkshire Dales National Park (whose boundaries in this area follow those of the historic counties). It stands at the foot of Howgill Fells, on the north bank of the River Rawthey, which joins the River Lune 2 miles (3 km) below the town.


Main Street

Sedbergh has a narrow main street lined with shops. From all angles, the hills rising behind the houses can be seen. Until the coming of the Ingleton branch line in 1861, these remote places were reachable only by walking over some steep hills. Passenger services through Sedbergh railway station ran from 1861 to 1954.

The civil parish covers a large area, including the hamlets of Millthrop, Catholes, Marthwaite, Brigflatts, High Oaks, Howgill, Lowgill and Cautley, the southern part of the Howgill Fells and the western part of Baugh Fell.

George Fox, a founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), spoke in the churchyard of St Andrew's Church (which Quakers of the day called a "steeple house") and on nearby Firbank Fell during his travels in the North of England in 1652. Briggflatts Meeting House was built in 1675. It is the namesake of Basil Bunting's long poem Briggflatts (1966).

Sedbergh has three schools Sedbergh Primary School its main state funded primary school, Settlebeck School its main state-funded secondary school, and Sedbergh School which is a co-educational boarding school in the town.


Sedbergh's parish church, dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle, dates from the 12th century, although restored periodically since. There is at least one house in the village dating from the 14th century. The remains of the motte and bailey castle are believed to date from Saxon times.

Sedbergh's longstanding industries were farming and the production of woollen garments. Wool was taken to mills for spinning into yarn, from which people in their homes knitted clothing such as hats and socks. These were sold, for instance, to coal miners of North-East England. This trade of long ago is remembered at Farfield Mill,[4] just outside the town, which has an exhibition of weaving equipment and workshops for a number of artists and crafts workers.

Sedbergh is part of the Ewecross wapentake in the West Riding of Yorkshire. From 1894 to 1974 it was part of Sedbergh Rural District in the West Riding. In 1974 it was treated as part of the new administrative county of Cumbria, now abolished.[5]


Sedbergh belongs to the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency, of which Tim Farron is the current Liberal Democrats member.[6] Before Brexit, it was in the North West England European Parliamentary Constituency.

Sedbergh is part of the Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale ward of Westmorland and Furness Council area.[7]

Sedbergh has a parish council.[8]

Economy and amenities

Personal incomes come from a range of sources: the schools are major employers. Sedbergh is also England's official book town (like Hay-on-Wye in Wales and Wigtown in Scotland). Though smaller than these, it has several independent bookshops and dealers.[9] Employment in small to medium manufacturing and wholesale companies may match or exceed that of schools – a growing feature of the economy. Other major sources are farming, retail and tourism. The profile of Sedbergh improved after it got featured in a BBC documentary series, The Town that Wants a Twin, airing for twelve episodes in January and February 2005.[10][11] One result was for Sedbergh to twin with Zreče in north-eastern Slovenia.[12]

The town suffered an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001. As livestock farming declined, it became a destination for walkers and ramblers. In 2015 the town was accepted as a Walkers are Welcome town.

The town golf club is located at Catholes-Abbott Holme.[13]

A monthly booklet "Sedbergh and District Lookaround" gives details of local events and activities, including bus times and religious services.[14]


Local news and television programmes are provided by BBC North West and ITV Border. Television signals are received from one of the two local relay transmitters (Sedbergh[15] and Millthrop[16]).

The town is served by both BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Cumbria. Other radio stations including Greatest Hits Radio Cumbria & South West Scotland, Greatest Hits Radio Harrogate and the Yorkshire Dales and Dales Radio, a community based station.[17]

The local newspaper that covers the town is the The Westmorland Gazette.


Ingmire Hall, about two miles (three kilometres) west of the town, dates mainly from the 16th-century and includes a pele tower. The house was expanded in the Victorian era, by a local architect, George Webster,[18] and further extended in the 20th century. A fire in the 1920s caused major damage but the 1980s saw restoration work on the house. It is constructed of rubble stone coursed with quoins, with a slate roof. The hall is privately-owned but a public footpath follows the drive.[19][20]

St Gregory's Church is a redundant Anglican church on the A684 road about 1+12 miles (2.5 kilometres) west of Sedbergh. It is designated a Grade II listed building recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England and under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The Cross Keys Temperance Inn is a 400-year-old pub now run by the National Trust.[21]

Twin towns

Location grid

See also


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Sedbergh Parish (E04002646)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  2. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Sedbergh Parish (16UG063)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  3. ^ "Sedbergh Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868". GENUKI. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  4. ^ "The story of Farfield Mill".
  5. ^ "History of Sedbergh, in South Lakeland and West Riding | Map and description". Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Tim Farron". Archived from the original on 1 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Westmorland and Furness Council wards map" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Sedbergh Parish Council".
  9. ^ "Book Sellers". Visit Sedbergh.
  10. ^ "Sophie Honey - GOV.UK".
  11. ^ "Search Results – BBC Genome". Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  12. ^ Major, Melissa (25 April 2021). "Where are Cumbria's twinned towns?". News and Star.
  13. ^ "Sedbergh Golf Club".
  14. ^ Sedbergh Lookaround.
  15. ^ "Freeview Light on the Sedbergh (Lancashire, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  16. ^ "Freeview Light on the Millthrop (Cumbria, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  17. ^ "Ofcom | Community Radio Stations". Retrieved 20 January 2024.
  18. ^ listing, The Cumbrian Castle. "Ingmire Hall, Sedergh".
  19. ^ "Ingmire Hall".
  20. ^ Historic England. "Ingmire Hall and stables and outbuildings to north Known As Ingmire Cottage (Grade II) (1384161)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 3 February 2024.
  21. ^