Garsdale Street Chapel

It is thought that two stone mason brothers built this primitive Methodist chapel and the adjoining 3 cottages in 1841, in what is now known as The Street.

About this church

Today it remains without alteration, the outward appearance belies its existence.

This Grade II primitive Methodist chapel sits on the main A684, since 1974 it has been in Cumbria but remains within the boundary of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, despite its now tranquil setting the area once echoed with the noise and growth of the 19th railways.

Built in 1841 probably by two stonemason brothers, the site some 10 yards square confined the brothers to a simple layout.

The interior remains basically unchanged, with painted box-like tiered seats to help eye contact between preacher and congregation! The ‘penitent form’ where public confessions were made still stands below the pulpit

The chapel interior remains basically the same as when it was built. Inside are painted box like tiered pews, improving eye contact between preacher and worshippers, a style that was copied in later chapels in the area. The original bench known as the 'penitents form' remains standing below the pulpit, it is from here where public confessions were encouraged to be made. Apart from minor changes to lighting and heating it remains a good example of a period Primitive Methodist chapel.

Garsdale Street Chapel forms part of a trail of small chapels linked to the history of the railways and religion in the Western Dales. The Carlisle to Settle railway line was built between 1870–1876, by Midland Railway Company. It was one of the most difficult railways to construct in the UK. Its 73 miles include 20 viaducts and 14 tunnels cut by hand through steep, often boggy, isolated and exposed countryside. Over 6,000 'navvies' lived and worked in appalling conditions during its construction. The Methodists in this part of Cumbria were significant providers of welfare and spiritual help to the railway workers. Education and care of children and the elderly were a feature of their work.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

Hawes Junction Chapel

Mount Zion Chapel was opened in 1876, the same year in which the Midland Railway Company opened the famous Settle to Carlisle railway, serving the local community of railway employees and farmers.


St John the Evangelist

Cowgill church is a welcoming haven for walkers, cyclists and other visitors, sitting on the Dales Way in the the Yorkshire Dales National Park just a mile from the Settle Carlisle Railway and Dent Station.

St Mark

St Mark's church was built in 1847 to serve the people of Cautley, which is a sparsely populated dale running north from Sedbergh towards Kirkby Stephen.

Become a Friend of the National Churches Trust, for people who love church buildings!