Kirkby Lonsdale sign
The Market Square
The Old Market Square
The market town of Kirkby Lonsdale is encircled by the surrounding fells of Lancashire and Yorkshire, and has been described by John Ruskin as having one of the best views in England. The place itself is set just off the main A65 road and remains a traditional market town full of Georgian buildings, where life revolves mainly around the central market square, where a market is held every Thursday. A smaller market place known as Swine market also still exists near the church, which also is home to a medieval Market Cross.
St Mary's Church
St Mary's church is the oldest building in the town and stands close by the site of an earlier church. Parts of it were built about twenty years after the Norman conquest, with further extensions built in the twelfth and fifteenth century, with the latter extension being the addition of a chapel.
The Radical Steps
At the end of the churchyard is the gazebo built in the early nineteenth century and now sited at the top of the radical steps. A few yards on from the gazebo is the site known as "Ruskin's View". From this point the view across the valley was described by Ruskin as "one of the loveliest scenes in England therefore the world". The 96 so-called 'Radical Steps' were built in 1819 by Francis Pearson to divert the public footpath through his land. They were termed Radical due to the strong political beliefs of Pearson.
Kirkby Lonsdale's most famous sight though has surely got to be Devil's Bridge. Built towards the end of the fifteenth century, the bridge stands forty-five feet above the Lune, and was originally a pack-horse bridge with recesses to let horses pass in opposite directions. By the early 1900's the traffic over the bridge rose to such a level that a second bridge, Stanley Bridge, was built in 1932 over which the A65 now runs. The area around the bridge is a gathering place for hundreds of motorcyclists most Sundays throughout the summer.
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