Grid Ref : NY 617045
Tebay is a straggling village of terraced houses, that grew as a result of the nearby railway junction. Sheep farming was once a major occupation, but today most employment is associated with the nearby M6 motorway, and its related services. Junction 38 of the motorway is on the northern outskirts of the village.
The village is surrounded by the beautiful Howgill Fells – a series of magnificent open hills, most of them common land, providing some of the most spectacular scenery in the North of England for the dedicated hill walker.
The importance of Tebay grew from the coming of the Turnpike in 1760 when the village was a staging post. With the coming of the Lancaster to Carlisle railway in 1846, it became an important railway junction with the LNER to Darlington. Tebay became a substantial village of more than a thousand people, with a station, engine sheds and marshalling yards, and the home base of steam engines that supplied the extra power needed to climb to Shap summit. This all died with the ‘Beeching axe’ in 1968.
In the village is a 500 year old coaching inn – The Cross Keys.
The River Lune flows alongside the Village, and is popular for Trout and Salmon Fishing.
Cumbria’s award-winning Tebay Services, operated by Westmorland Ltd, is a family-owned motorway services, located on both the north and southbound sides of the M6 Motorway, just north of Junction 38. They are the only services in England to be built and operated by local people, and have established a strong reputation for excellent home made food and friendly staff, as well as its award-winning farm shops.
Just north of Junction 38 is a large mound of earth. This is ‘Castle Howe’ – the remains of a medieval motte and bailey castle occupying a long oval hillock of about one and three quarter acres. The motte rises 9 feet above the bailey next to the motorway, and was probably the seat of the Tebay family until the 12th century. Traces of a rampart survive on the south side with a ditch separating it from the bailey. It was erected to challenge any enemy passing through the Lune Gorge.
St James’ church, 1880, by CJ Ferguson, was paid for by the railway company and railway workers.
In February 2006, a proposal for England’s biggest windfarm at Whinash, near Tebay, was rejected by the government.
At the end of the short road over the old Lune bridge, overlooking the railway, is a memorial to the men who lost their lives in the railway accident of 15th Feb 2004 – Colin Buckley (49), Darren Burgess (30), Gary Tindall (46), and Chris Waters (52).
During July the villagers of Tebay have an Elephant Festival,