Holy Trinity

Built in 1833 by William Carus Wilson, Founder of the Clergy Daughters School, as school chapel and parish church with a strong connection with local heritage and Bronte sisters.

About this church

Exceptional acoustics attract singers and musicians, some of national renown, for concerts and recordings. Contains beautiful Arts Crafts stained glass; also, paintings by James Clark RA and PreRaphaelite Henry Holiday. Much used by pupils of Sedbergh Preparatory School, and visited by tourists from many countries.

This iconic Victorian church is a focal point in the Lune Valley. It is one of eight churches in the Rainbow Parish, serving Kirkby Lonsdale and District. The church contributes much to the spiritual, educational, and social life of the local and wider community.

The church has a performance area with sound and lighting equipment and has an induction loop. The absence of internal pillars makes it ideal for concerts.

Holy Trinity is a much used, busy church, dedicated to regular worship and is a venue for performing arts, especially music. Free lunchtime recitals are a regular feature.
Performers have included: the Liverpool Cathedral and Hallé Youth Choirs; Carnforth and District Choral Society; the Allegri Singers and K Shoes Male Voice Choir. Soloists include Professor Doctor Ian Tracey (organ), James Bowman CBE (countertenor) and Young Musician of the Year Finalist Jess Gillam (saxophone).

Nikolaus Pevsner describes and appraises its architecture and its celebrated wall paintings, in ‘The Buildings of England’. The church also has a finely carved reredos by Bridgeman of Lichfield and oak choir stalls designed by Paley and Austin. These gifts reflect the inspiration of Canon AD Burton, the dedication of local families, and the generosity of the Misses Bickersteth of Casterton Hall.

Beautiful lancet windows depict the life and ascension of Christ. In the chancel, some commemorate Queen Victoria's Silver Jubilee. Cathedral glass lancets in the nave reflect the end of the First World War.

The stunning Benedicite and Creation windows count among Henry Holiday's best work.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

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


St Mary

The beautiful Norman church sits above the River Lune with commanding views from the churchyard.

St John the Baptist

There has been a church in Arkholme believed to have been dedicated to St John the Baptist, since at least the middle of the 15th century.

St Leonard

The church of St Leonard is only 48 feet long and twenty feet wide and is a welcome haven to many walkers, cyclists, climbers, cavers, and passers by who explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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