Sedbergh is England’s official book town which came about after the devastating foot and mouth disease in 2001.

Many of the shops and cafes and even the chippy stock books of all descriptions.

There is even a ‘book shelter’ in the old bus shelter.

Sedbergh Book Shelter

Westwood Books in the town has more than 70,000 books in stock.


Located in Cumbria and in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Sedbergh is much loved for its beautiful setting in the Howgill Fells.

Being within the Yorkshire Dales National Park it’s an area that has little in common with its near neighbour, the Lake District.

With its narrow streets and alleys, Sedbergh is a great place to visit.

The famous public school was founded in 1525. This thriving school has about 500 pupils and occupies some attractive buildings on the edge of town.

It also owns a quantity of land, much of which is used as sports fields, resulting in plenty of open space within the town’s boundaries.

Sedbergh School

The Parish church of St Andrew is in the heart of the town. It is surrounded by the graveyard which contains spectacular rhododendrons.

The church we see today was built around 1350. There is evidence that on this site the first stone building was erected in the mid-11th century.

Roman Catholic services are also held in the church – which would astonish our ancestors who endured the bitterness of the Reformation.

St Andrew's church Sedbergh Church

Sedbergh sits at the confluence of for rivers – the Lune, Rawthey, Dee and Clough, which made it an ideal location for the textile industry.

The industrial revolution saw the development of several mills, for water power was freely available, as was the wool for spinning and weaving.

One by one the mills closed and the last viable one, Milnthrop Mill, was burnt down in a spectacular fire in 1967.

Today, the only remnant of the industry remains in the shape of Fairfield Mill.

Fairfield Mill,  was built as a woollen mill in 1836, was rescued from closure in 2018, thanks to a huge fundraising campaign. Today it is an arts and heritage centre.

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