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Railway Cottages at Tebay.jpg
Railway cottages
Tebay is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population776 (2011)
OS grid referenceNY618045
Civil parish
  • Tebay
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townPENRITH
Postcode districtCA10
Dialling code01539
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
54°26′02″N 2°35′24″W / 54.434°N 2.590°W / 54.434; -2.590Coordinates: 54°26′02″N 2°35′24″W / 54.434°N 2.590°W / 54.434; -2.590

Tebay is a village and civil parish in Cumbria, England, within the historic borders of Westmorland. It lies in the upper Lune Valley, at the head of the Lune Gorge. Tebay had a population of 776 at the 2011 Census.[1]

Old Tebay lies to the north of Tebay at grid reference NY618052. Historically a sheep farming area, the arrival of the railway led to increased prosperity.


Castle Howe

To the north, occupying a strategic position by the River Lune, now close to the M6 motorway, are the earthwork remains of a motte and bailey castle known as Castle Howe.

During the Roman occupation a Roman road followed the course of the River Lune linking the Roman fort at Low Borrowbridge near Tebay with one at Over Burrow south of Kirkby Lonsdale. Another road, recently discovered using LIDAR, linked the fort at Low Borrowbridge with the fort to the north at Kirkby Thore, and thence to Whitley Castle and then Carvoran on Hadrian's Wall.[2]

Tebay was the home of the prophetess Mary Baynes, known as the 'Witch of Tebay', who died in 1811.[3]



46100 Royal Scot attacking Shap Summit with a railtour nearby to Tebay Services in April 2016

Tebay railway station was on the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway, which was built to link those two cities between 1844 and 1846, and which was absorbed by the London and North Western Railway in 1879. Tebay became an important junction for, in 1861, the Stainmore Railway, from Tebay-Kirkby Stephen-Barnard Castle and later becoming part of the North Eastern Railway, brought traffic from the east; it was closed in 1962. The A685 runs over much of its trackbed east from Tebay towards Kirkby Stephen. The Ingleton Branch Line of the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway connecting via the Midland Railway to Settle and Leeds, enters the main line at the south end of the Lune Gorge; it was built in the 1850s, and was last used for passengers in the winter 1962-63 as a relief to the main line.

The railway companies provided much employment for local people and this brought about the construction of housing to accommodate the increased population.

The village has had two railway accidents happen nearby. On 15 February 2004, four people were run over by a maintenance vehicle in the Tebay rail accident. Three years later, the Grayrigg rail crash happened on 23 February 2007 between Oxenholme and Tebay on the West Coast Main Line.


Junction 38 of the M6 lies just west of the village, south of the notoriously exposed Shap Summit. Like its predecessor, the main railway line, it uses the upper reaches of the River Lune to pass through the fells. Tebay Services is one of the very few motorway service stations to be run independently, and has often won praise for its food.


Terraced cottages at Tebay built for railway workers and their families, as seen from the West Coast Main Line in 2016

Central to the village is the Railway Club, which provides a concrete link to the past importance of the village. The Cross Keys pub in the village also provide a place where the inhabitants can come together.

In times past, much of the populace was involved with the railway. The local Junction Hotel is now flats but once had dance halls.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  2. ^ "The Roman road from Low Borrowbridge..." The Roads of Roman Britain. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Tebay, Cumbria". The Cumbria Directory. Retrieved 24 August 2014.

External links[edit]