Lake District Towns and Villages
Kirby Stephens in the Lake District National Park
Kirkby Stephen is situated at the head of the superb Eden Valley. It has a 14th century market charter and markets are still held every Monday. The Market Square is surrounded by an ancient collar of cobble-stones, and the town has a number of buildings of historical and architectural significance.
The Parish Church of St Stephen's, known locally as the Cathedral of the Dales, was built on the site of an old Anglo-Saxon church, and contains some interesting relics, including the 'Loki Stone', one of only two such stones in Europe. The entrance to the church from the Market Square is through the handsome Cloisters, built in 1810 with money left to the town by a former inhabitant John Waller, for the purpose of providing shelter for churchgoers and market people. Immediately through the Cloisters is the Trupp Stone, where tithes were paid until 1836.
Pendragon Castle is a short distance away and undergoing restoration. Though not open to the public it can be readily viewed from the roadside. Uther Pendragon, legendary father of King Arthur, is supposed to have ruled this area many centries ago.
There is some beautiful scenery in the region and plenty of quaint little villages to explore. It is a handy base forboth the fells toards Keswick and southern Lakeland.
Alfred Wainwright's coat to coast walk passes through the town, which has many facilities to offer the visitor, including good accommodation and restaurants.
Tourist Information Centre : Market St, CA17 4QN. Tel: 017683 71199