infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 54.3227
longitude= -2.5266
official_name= Sedbergh
population = 3,691
shire_district= South Lakeland
region= North West England
shire_county = Cumbria
constituency_westminster= Westmorland and Lonsdale
post_town= SEDBERGH
postcode_district = LA10
postcode_area= LA
dial_code= 015396
os_grid_reference= SD657920

static_image_caption=A view of Sedbergh

Sedbergh (pronounced "Sedber" or even, by the locals, "Sebber") is a small town in Cumbria, England. It lies about convert|7|mi|km|1 east of Kendal and about convert|10|mi|km|1 north of Kirkby Lonsdale. The town lies just within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It lies at the foot of the Howgill Fells on the north bank of the River Rawthey which joins the River Lune about convert|2|mi|km|1 below Sedbergh.

Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Sedbergh has a narrow main street lined with shops. From all angles you can see the hills rising behind the houses. Until the coming of the railway in 1861, these were remote places that it was possible to reach only by slogging over some fairly steep hills. The railway to Sedbergh was closed in 1965.

George Fox, a founder of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), spoke in St. Andrew's Church (which he called a "steeple house") and on nearby Firbank Fell during his travels in the North of England in 1652. Nearby Briggflatts Meeting House was built in 1675. It is the namesake of Basil Bunting's lauded long poem, "Briggflatts" (1966). Sedbergh School is a co-educational boarding school in the town.


Sedbergh's parish church, St Andrew's, dates from the 12th century, though restored periodically since then. There is at least one house dating from the 14th century, and there are the remains of a motte and bailey castle believed to date from Saxon times.

Sedbergh's main industries for many years were Sedbergh School (founded 1525), farming and the production of woollen garments.

Wool sheared from the many sheep was taken to local mills where it was turned into yarn from which people in their homes, would knit clothing, including hats and socks. The garments were then sold by local merchants to, among other places, the coal miners of the North East of England. This trade has long since disappeared. It is remembered at Farfield Mill, just outside the town, where there is an exhibition of weaving equipment, and workshops for a number of artists and crafts workers. There are still plenty of sheep in the surrounding fields some of which are now raised primarily to protect the breed, notably the Rough Fell sheep.


Income now comes from a range of sources: the schools are still the main employer in the town, but Sedbergh has recently become England's book town (see Hay-on-Wye and Wigtown) with six independent bookshops and many more dealers who operate from the Dales and Lakes Book Centre. It is now possible that the turnover of small to medium manufacturing and wholesale companies matches or exceeds that of the schools - a growing feature of the economy. Other major sources of income are farming, retail and tourism. It is hoped that tourism will increase after the efforts of Sedbergh to find a twin town were featured in a BBC documentary, "The Town That Wants A Twin" during January 2005 (the winning town was Zreče in north eastern Slovenia).


There is also a school in Montebello, Quebec, Canada named Sedbergh School. One of the founders, Frank Duxbury, attended Sedbergh School, U.K. and was a 3 timer winner of the Wilson Run.

See Sedbergh School, Québec

Sedbergh resident, Sam Rusling was filmed as a contestant on television quiz show, the Weakest Link, in 2006 but the episode was never broadcast after he called the host, Anne Robinson, "dog breath", whilst she was reading a question.

ee also

External links

* [ Sedbergh website]
* [ An illustrated guide to Sedbergh]
* [ Sedbergh pictures and information]

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