Sedbergh Trust Turnpike (to Kirkby Stephen)

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Sedbergh Turnpike Trust MYD36735 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Sedbergh Trust Turnpike MYD36735 (c) YDNPA, 2023

From 1761 the Sedbergh Turnpike Trust began to construct several turnpike roads radiating out from Sedbergh. This route was completed in 1765 and led to the important market town of Kirkby Stephen. Knitted goods manufactured in and around Sedbergh were traded in Kirkby Stephen. The route followed the line taken by the modern A683 to Rawthey Bridge and the National Park boundary. The Trust undertook to repair and maintain the roads it charged tolls on. At first, repair of the road surface took the form of filling in ruts with more soil. In 1830, the Trust appointed John L McAdam as surveyor and he applied his new method of road surfacing using broken stone in layers reducing in size up to the surface of the road. With use this graded layering compacted and produced a solid road surface. In 1814, stone milestones were erected along the length of all the Trust’s roads around Sedbergh. On the Kirkby Stephen route they were later replaced by cast iron mileposts many of which survive.


Scobie, Joyce (1997) ‘Sedbergh Turnpike Trust’ Yorkshire History Quarterly. Vol 3:2 pp51-56

Wright, Geoffrey N (1985) Roads and Trackways of the Yorkshire Dales. Ashbourne: Moorland Publishing


Turnpike mainly follows route of modern road from Sedbergh to Kirkby Stephen (A683).

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Sedbergh or Dent. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 874 for Cumbria information.


Follows route of public road.