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This new book contains more than 300 photographs of the Sedbergh district.  

The collection of photographs arose from local people and visitors, from all parts of the world, trying to identify where their ancestors lived.  They show the topography, the influence of people and buildings visible in the landscapes that are relished today and which provide foundations for the future.

Sedbergh is situated near the meeting points of the rivers Rawthey, Clough and Dee before these combined rivers flow into the Lune a few miles away.  Each valley has its special features and community. Garsdale follows the Clough, Cautley the Rawthey, and Dent encompasses the Dee. The Lune valley, Lunesdale, or Lonsdale, includes the area.


People working with the local resources have shaped the landscape. Through generations they have worked to create livelihoods for themselves, their families and ultimately their communities. 

The photographs have been arranged, for convenience, according to neighbourhoods, although communities interacted and people moved between them.  The places shown may add some interest for walkers, cyclists and intrepid drivers following identified roads but private property and the work of the countryside should always be respected.  Armchair travellers may enjoy the many reminiscences that the photos inspire. 

Copies cost £10 plus £3 p&p.  During Covid restrictions copies can be obtained by phoning 015396 20771 or 20605 or via




Sedbergh and District
in the Western Dales





Details and availability are obtainable from

Sedbergh and District History Society, PublicationsThe History Room
72A Main Street Sedbergh
LA10 5AD




Sedbergh and District
1914 - 1918

This book explores military matters in the local context and raises awareness of details that are not recorded on War Memorials. Topics covered include events on the Home Front, Recruitment, Enlistment, Casualties and Awards, Regiments and Roles.

The book includes many contemporary photographs. 

The war had a profound effect on the nation and by drawing on family memories, diaries and newspaper cuttings its impact in the rural dales has been revealed. 

Thanks to the Heritage Lottery First World War: then and now programme it has been possible to produce the book as a permanent and accessible record of the impact of the First World War on this rural community.


The Three Lt.Col. Hebblethwaites in W.W.1
Click HERE for Jeremy Hebblethwaite's account






£5 obtainable from the HISTORY SOCIETY ROOM Yorkshire Dales Information Centre in Sedbergh or by post from SDHS Publications, c/o 72A, Main Street, SEDBERGH,
Cumbria. LA10 5AD


The Watson family lived at Oakville in Sedbergh in the nineteenth century. Their careers illustrate the changing tastes and opportunities in art during the nineteenth century. 

Dawson Watson was a local solicitor and Steward of the Wapentake Court. A gifted amateur artist, he encouraged his sonsí artistic talent.  John Dawson Watson RWS, RBA, RCA, was born at Oakville in 1832 and died in Conwy in 1892. His younger brother, Thomas James Watson ARWS RBA was also a well known artist. 

Dawson Dawson Watson, named for his grandfather, studied in Paris and later emigrated and taught art in the USA where he won several competitions.

Other nineteenth century artists associated with Sedbergh were William Westall and Myles Birket Foster, grandson of Robert Foster of Hebblethwaite Hall, who married Frances Watson in 1864.




December 2009

This new book contains more than 200 photographs, dating from the 1850s.   It has  scenes approaching Sedbergh from the station, along Main Street, through the Market Place, Finkle Street, and then returning along Busk Lane.  It also shows some significant buildings around the town between Settlebeck,  Millthrop and Havera.

Sedbergh was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and it is thought that the motte and bailey castle was built about the same time c1086. Its first market charter was obtained during the reign of Henry III  in 1251 possibly legalising an existing informal market.  A new market charter was granted by Henry VIII in 1538. 

Roger Lupton founded a chantry school that became The Free Grammar School of King Edward VI and subsequently Sedbergh School. He served the crown during the reigns of Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII and was a Provost of Eton.

Sedbergh is now Englandís Book Town.  The town is twinned with Zrece in Slovenia and the twinning process was featured on national TV.

Sedbergh and District History Society has been collecting information and photographs relating to the local area to build an archive for local people and for research.  The society is grateful to all who have given or allowed pictures to be  copied.  Further information is welcomed. 

£10 obtainable from the HISTORY SOCIETY ROOM above the Tourist  Information Centre in Sedbergh, in local shops
or by post
at £11.50, to include postage from SDHS Publications,
c/o 72A, Main Street, SEDBERGH, Cumbria. LA10 5AD. 

© Sedbergh & District History Society


£5 obtainable from the HISTORY SOCIETY ROOM above the Yorkshire Dales Information Centre in Sedbergh or by post from SDHS Publications, c/o 72A, Main Street, SEDBERGH, Cumbria. LA10 5AD

© Sedbergh & District History Society


Dr Roger Lupton
1456 - 1540

The history of an important, but little known, sixteenth century figure.

Roger Lupton was born in obscurity. He served the crown during the reigns of Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII. He was a canon of St George's Chapel, Windsor. The buildings constructed while he was Provost of Eton continue to be appreciated today.

The chantry school that he set up in Sedbergh, the town of his birth, has continued. It was known firstly as The Free Grammar School of Roger Lupton then in 1551 it became the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI. In the nineteenth century it became Sedbergh School.

Richard Cann
was formerly
Director of Studies
at Sedbergh School

Elspeth Griffiths

Sedbergh School Archivist


A few of the past  Sedbergh & District History Society
Annual Journals

Sedbergh Historian










Click HERE for information
covered in past editions of the
Sedbergh Historian


Click HERE for Contents of the latest edition of the Sedbergh Historian
Vol VII No1 Summer 2018