Kirkby Lonsdale is a historic market town between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. It is a very ancient settlement – Romans Saxons, Normans and Danes all carved an impression, and the town was included in the Domesday Book of 1086. A host of 17th and 18th Century buildings now accommodate inns, restaurants and shops.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin is Norman, probably built between 1093 and 1130, although there was an old Saxon Church on the site before.
Spanning the River Lune is a three arched bridge, called Devil’s Bridge, which is probably 12th or 13th Century, and is now a scheduled ancient monument.
Turner (1775-1851) painted the River Lune, now called ‘Ruskin’s View’. John Ruskin (1819-1900), a lover of Turner’s work, influential English critic, social theorist, painter and poet, was so impressed by the picture, that he was inspired to write ‘I do not know in all my own country, still less in France or Italy, a place more naturally divine’.
During the first weekend in September, the town hosts its Victorian Fair, now a major event in the North of England. A lively Victorian street atmosphere is achieved with entertainment, demonstrations and street vendors.
Salt Pie Lane – formerly known as ‘Cattle Market Yard’. Cattle used to be sold in the adjoining Horse Market, and an enterprosing lady living in the yard made hot salted mutton pies for sale to the traders. After consumption of the pies it was necessary to adjourn to the nearby ‘Green Dragon’ to slake their thirst – the landlord of which just happened to be a relation!
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