Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

There are 2 local history groups in Ravenstonedale. Anyone wishing to learn about the local history of Ravenstonedale and its surroundings should look at both.

The Ravenstonedale Parish History Group
Now has its own website. Click here.

FC-Rdale Independent History Archive
An enterprise by Frank Chalmers. Click here.

old blacksmiths

Old Blacksmiths

Bob Hayton talks about his recollections of the old Blacksmiths, now a ruin on Ash Fell.

millennium embroidery panels

Millennium Embroidery Panels

The millennium embroidery project involved the creation of 4 embroidered panels.

ravenstonedale genealogy


Genealogy data on local family names such as Fothergill, Wharton, Ewbank, Hewetson and others.

ravenstonedale gilbertine ruins

Gilbertine Ruins

There are Gilbertine ruins in the grounds of St Oswald's which have been excavated to form a very impressive glimpse of history.

st oswalds grave index

Graves Index

Those wishing to trace their ancestry may be interested in this index of gravestones in grounds of St. Oswald's church, Ravenstonedale.

interviews with locals

Interviews with Locals

Farmers and others talk about their work, the community and life in our parish. Sound recordings date from the 1980's.

old pictures of ravenstonedale

Old Pictures

Old pictures of Ravenstonedale dating back to the 19th century. Mainly scans of old postcards.

ravenstonedale railway station


Ravenstonedale had its own passenger station and goods services were still available until the total closure of the line in January 1962.

toby twirl

Toby Twirl

Edward Jeffrey, illustrator of the 'Toby Twirl' children's books, published 1946 - 1958, lived in Ravenstonedale.

evacuees from ravenstonedale


Where you part of the evacuation of children to the countryside? If so consider getting in touch with one of our history groups.

high chapel history

High Chapel History

A personal look at High Chapel history by Frank Chalmers, caretaker of High Chapel, the Manse 2006 – 2011.

quakers in ravenstonedale

Quakers in Ravenstonedale

The history of the Quakers in Ravenstonedale is hard to find and seems to have been “lost”, but is coming back to light.

Elizabeth Gaunt

Elizabeth Gaunt (nee Fothergill) was the last woman to be burnt at the stake on October 4th 1685. She was the daughter of Anthony Fothergill of Brownber and lived at Tower House, next to Brownber Hall. An altar window in St Oswald's Church, Ravenstonedale, is dedicated to her.

Elizabeth Gaunt window at St Oswald's Ravenstonedale
Thomas Fothergill window at St Oswald's Ravenstonedale
Elizabeth Gaunt and Thomas Fothergill windows in St Oswald's Ravenstonedale

Disused Lime Kilns

Disused lime kilns, used to convert limestone (calcium carbonate) into lime (calcium oxide), can be found throughout this region of Cumbria. There are excellent examples in nearby Smardale, a beautiful valley worthy of a walk, and many others further afield.

Lime kiln
Lime kiln
Lime kiln
Lime kiln

Pendragon Castle

Pendragon Castle, according to legend, was built by Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur. It is situated in Mallerstang, a very picturesque valley which is a pleasant drive away across the local fells.

Pendragon castle
Pendragon castle
Pendragon castle
Pendragon castle

Gamelands Stone Circle

Gamelands Stone Circle (grid ref NY640082) can be found a short distance distance away, between Ravenstonedale and Orton.