Village Hall events
Link to sedbergh holiday club


Church and Chapel events

Garsdale is not a village, but a valley through which runs the A684 road from Sedbergh to Hawes.
   A mile in the centre is roadsigned "Garsdale" and includes "The Street".

The other centre of population is at Garsdale Head, still known as "Hawes Junction"
after the Wensleydale branch from the Settle-Carlisle railway.

To the North is Baugh Fell with its tarns.  To the South is Rise Hill, then Dentdale. 

Garsdale's Clough River has its source in Grisedale: "The Dale that Died"

To locals, the whole seven miles from Langst'n Fell to the Moorcock is just Garsdale.

Parish Council

Business links

Memories of Garsdale






Garsdale picture

This website has been established to celebrate the valley of Garsdale.

Local events will be advertised here (free), as will local businesses and services.       

2016 events:

We are planning a Railway service on Garsdale station platform at 11 a.m. on May 8th
to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the first passenger train on the Settle-Carlisle line,
and also of the laying of the foundation stone of Hawes Junction chapel on the same day (May 1st).
The service will be led by Revd Harold Stuteley, with the Hawes Silver Band.
It will be followed by lunch at the chapel.  Everyone is welcome.

Remember to call at the URC at Sedbergh to support the coffee morning for Garsdale Red Squirrels between 10 a.m. and noon on Wednesday 11th.

Low Smithy Chapel Anniversary will be held on Sunday, May 15th at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.  The preacher will be Denis Yates of Scorton. Tea to follow.
On Monday, May 8th at 7:30 p.m. the Ayrton Family will sing at Low Smithy, and this will be followed by supper.  Everyone is welcome.

2015 events:

Garsdale enjoyed three Carol Services in the dale (all different), raising over £600 for three charities:
Tear Fund, Cumbria Flood Relief and Manna House in Kendal.

Carol Singing began on Monday, December 7th , down the dale from Swarthgill, and we braved showers (and got wet) up the dale on Tuesday.
Wednesday was wet, so the last evening was Thursday from Parrington's up to The Street.
  Thank you to everyone who donated to "Action for Children" (formerly National Childrens' Homes).   £325 was collected.
            Please let us know if we missed you and you would like us to sing next year, or if you would prefer us not to call.

See the Village Hall page for future events at the Village Hall.                  Garsdale Webcam and weather: >>>>

Garsdale Broadband failed project >>>

The Garsdale Red Squirrel Group was launched at the Village Hall in November 2014.  
We think we've got rid of most of the greys in the area, but please let us know if you see one.     See for details.

Pictures of the July 18th 2014 Village Hall walk are here: >>>>> and of the June 20th walk here: >>>>>

The Parish Council have a website  here >>>>

Garsdale has formed a First Responders group.  If you are interested, the details are here: >>>>>

For further details of what is going on in the Sedbergh area, see the "Lookaround" available in Sedbergh shops,
       or try this link:

The Neighbourhood Forum details can be found here: >>>>>>
Squirrel Sightings:    >>>>>>>                Map: >>>>>                Garsdale words:    >>>>>>>

This page will feature the history of various houses in Garsdale.

Slack Cottage 50 years agoSlack Cottage 50 years agoSlack Cottage as it is now

The pictures show Slack Cottage as it was 50 years ago and as it is now. It was also known as West Slack, Billies, Bilses or Billows.  In the late 1600s, John Thistlethwaite lived here.  When he died in 1691, he left his house in trust for his young son, Henry, but Henry seems never to have lived here.  William & Isabel Nelson lived here from 1707 to at least 1713 with their children William & Hannah.  William Raw lived here at least 1738-41, William & Mary Nelson sometime before 1763, then William Raw’s son John and wife Isabella and children Ann & William at least from 1779 to 1783.  Other occupants include Hannah Raw and her daughter Mary (born 1798, father was Leonard Harker),  Dorothy Capstick in 1814, George Staveley, then Robert & Mary Crowney in 1818,  Edmund Winn in 1831, and Thomas & Eleanor Capstick in 1841.  The property was owned by James Hutchinson of Slack, then by his daughter, Sarah, who married Revd Matthew Parrington (was he a descendant of Thomas Parrington?).  James Inman was owner (but not occupier) of Slack Cottage from 1840 onwards, and it was let to Leonard & Isabella Dodd with children Eleanor, Isabella, Leonard and Sarah.  Leonard senior was a Methodist local preacher from the late 1830s to his death in 1879.  His gravestone can be found just inside St John’s church gates (on the right near the wall) with this inscription:
“For upwards of forty years as a Primitive Methodist Local Preacher, he travelled this and neighbouring dales preaching the gospel of salvation through Christ Jesus to his perishing fellow men, many of whom will doubtless be the crown of his rejoicing in the day of the Lord”.
In June 1853, daughter Eleanor married Rev James Jackson who became President of the Primitive Methodist Conference in 1897.  Their son James Dodd Jackson published two books of short stories set in Garsdale:  “Twixt Moor and Mead” and “The People of the Haven”.  The story about a big flood in Garsdale was written several years before the real flood of August 8th 1889.  
Read the fiction story here 
>>>>>>  It is surprisingly accurate in its depiction of flood conditions.
In 1881 Slack Cottage was uninhabited, but from 1891 to 1898, Amos and Sarah Richardson  lived here.  In the Great Flood of 1889, they suffered severe flood damage.  In 1901 the cottage was not lived in.  Occupants in the 1920s included William & Mrs Hunter with sons Andy & Billy; then Mrs Hall.  In 1939 Dick & Polly Handley moved here with their son Fred (brother of Frank at Longholme).  Duke Harper owned the property (probably his wife, Mary Haygarth’s money) and left it to Ellen Cowperthwaite when he died in 1950?  Dick & Ellen Cowperthwaite retired here from Thwaite Head Farm in 1955, and ownership passed to their son John when Ellen died in 1973.  The cottage was let to Kaare & Irene Bergerud, then was sold to Greg & Chris Williams who lived here from 197? to 1981.  The Maddocks family lived here from 1981 to 19??  Subsequent owners include Paul & Judith Beeley, with children Edward & Helena.  The property was sold in 2005 and has undergone substantial renovation inside, though the exterior of the original cottage has not changed much.  

If you think there is anything missing from this site, please e-mail : e-mail address

Garsdale features in three works of fiction.  It is mentioned by name in a short story called "The Death of Grass", written by Samuel Youd under the pen-name John Christopher in 1956, made into a film in 1970, and broadcast as a radio play in 2010.
 One scene is set on Langst'n Fell, but Garsdale is incidental to the plot.  Click here for an extract  

Two books of short stories written in Garsdale dialect were written by Rev James Dodd Jackson,
whose mother, Eleanor, was born at Slack Cottage, Garsdale.  
The gravestone of his grandfather, Leonard Dodd, can be seen just inside the Church Gates.
I'm searching for a copy of "The People of the Haven", but extracts from "'Twixt Moor and Mead", published in 1887,
can be read here:
 >>>>>>> and here: 
>>>>>>> The stories depict real people from Garsdale in the mid-1800s.

Did you know that Garsdale is mentioned in "Hansard", the official minutes of the House of Commons?

On June 20th 2006, Tim Farron, our local MP, quoted Garsdale as an example of a place from which it takes too long for
an ambulance to travel to Lancaster (and therefore Westmorland General Hospital should remain open). 

Other mentions include a reply by Derek Twigg to Mr. Eric Martlew (Carlisle) about stations which did not have toilets or disabled access, the minutes of the Select Committee on Transport about the reopening of the Hawes Branch Line,
and John Spellar's written reply about support for the Hawes to Garsdale bus service. 

Did you know that Wensleydale cheese used to be made (almost) in Garsdale (at Farfield)
using milk from Garsdale, Dent and Cautley. 
The Wensleydale Creamery now makes a variety called Garsdale, with garlic and chives. 
I wonder if they use the wild garlic which grows in Garsdale - locally called "Ramps".

Famous visitors to Garsdale have included William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy who stayed at Garsdale Hall, Prince Charles who occasionally stays with friends near Garsdale Station, Andrew Lloyd Webber who attended the funeral of William Garnett at Garsdale Church (William's father wrote "Aspects of Love"), and Dame Mary Peters who is the granddaughter of Mary, one of "Kits gimmers" (the eight daughters of Christopher & Jane Metcalf who lived at Nether House until 1928).
 Do you know of any others?