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St Andrew, Sedbergh, Yorkshire, West Riding

(54°19′20″N, 2°31′43″W)
SD 657 920
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Yorkshire, West Riding
now Cumbria
formerly Bradford
medieval York
now Carlisle
medieval St Andrew
now St Andrew
  • Rita Wood
22 Oct 2009

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The town is the market and shopping centre for a dale still very much centred on farming. The church is long and low with a western tower. There is no chancel arch and the arcades are of 8 and 6 bays; the last arch to the east in each arcade is pointed. Considerable rebuilding in the Perpendicular and Tudor periods besides alterations at the restoration of 1885-86 have affected the appearance of the church (Frankland 1938, 293-4). Late 12thc remains are found in parts of the restored arcades, and the N doorway to the nave; an earlier tower arch may be seen in the W wall of the nave.


A small motte covered in trees with a bailey of about a quarter of an acre is on the eastern edge of town; no sign of habitation has been found (Frankland 1948/9). The church is at the opposite end of the main street from the motte.

In Sedbergh, 3 carucates had been held by Earl Tostig (VCH II, 207).

Sedbergh was a vill of Whittington-in-Amounderness at Domesday and belonged to the king, afterwards it belonged to the Mowbrays (VCH Yorkshire II, 37; Frankland 1938, 293).


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches



The detailed building history has not yet been disentangled.

The current church guide (Gladstone 1996, 1) suggests the N porch archway is ‘Norman’ but no part of it is so.

Morris, (1911), 1923, 446, describes the interior as ‘a somewhat important Trans. structure… with the N and S arcades carried through from end to end.’

Tower arch: Pevsner says ‘Above the pointed tower arch a former round arch seems discernible, and the imposts are plain and seem Norman.’ Perhaps more accurately, Morris says ‘… ( 5) Traces of Norm. work (perhaps of 2 blocked windows) above the tower arch, on the side towards the nave’.

Arcades: Sir Stephen Glynne visited in 1862 and says the four western bays of the south arcade 'are all early'; Lawrence Butler comments that the S arcade was entirely rebuilt in 1889 (Butler 2007, 362, n.6). Further notes by Butler refer to works in the late 19th century.

Pevsner (1967) thinks the S arcade might be around 1200 because of the W respond, and that the N arcade was made in two efforts in the 13thc, with ‘the last pier on this side’ that is, at the E end, having a ‘fine mature E.E. moulded capital’.

Leach and Pevsner (2009, 688) suggest that bays 7 and 8 of the N arcade, that is, the bays W of the square pier 6, are ‘Norman’, together with the W wall of nave and N aisle, and the N doorway.


L. A. S. Butler, ed., The Yorkshire Church Notes of Sir Stephen Glynne (1825-1874), Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record series 159, Woodbridge 2007, 361-2.

E. Frankland, Jackson’s Guide to Sedbergh and surrounding district. 10th ed., Sedbergh 1948/9.

E. P. Frankland, “Proceedings: Sedbergh church”, Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological Society Transactions 38 (1938), 293-4.

R. Gladstone, Saint Andrew’s Church, Sedbergh. Sedbergh 1996, 1.

P. Leach and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire West Riding: Leeds, Bradford and the North. New Haven and London 2009, 688-9.

J. E. Morris, Yorkshire: the West Riding, London 1911, 446.

N. Pevsner, and E. Radcliffe, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire: West Riding, 2nd ed., Harmondsworth 1967, 433-4.

Victoria County History of Yorkshire, Vol. 2, London 1912, 37.