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Firbank Fell

Fox's Pulpit

Photo of Fox's Pulpit showing the plaque on the crag

At the end of Witsun week 1652 George Fox was encouraged to attend a large gathering of 'Seekers' in and around the small chapel on Firbank Fell a few miles from Sedbergh.

Fox wouldn't go into the chapel to preach but instead spoke for three hours to the gathered crowd from the top of a near by crag - this is now known as Fox's Pulpit.

On that occasion many were convinced and that event is now widely seen as the start of the Quaker movement.

The chapel at Firbank was destroyed in the 19th century but the enclosure of the churchyard remains along with a few stunted trees and a solitary gravestone.

The rock upon which Fox stood to preach is now marked with plaque that reads:

Let your lives speak: Here or near this rock George Fox preached to about one thousand Seekers for three hours on Sunday June 13 1652. Great power inspired his message and the meeting proved of first importance in gathering the Society of Friends known as Quakers. Many men and women convinced of the truth on this fell and in other parts of the northern counties went forth through the land and over the seas with the living word of the Lord enduring great hardships and winning multitudes to Christ.

Annual Open Air Meeting for Worship

Each year close to the anniversary of the 1652 Meeting on Firbank Fell, Friends from a wide area come to Meeting on the fell-side.

Last year (2016) the Meeting was on Sunday 12th of June. There was a good turn-out with Friends from local and not so local Meetings present. The introduction was given by Chris Bullard from Kendal Meeting. The heavens then opened and there was a frantic scramble to get back to cars. The Meeting was then relocated to Brigflatts Meeting House where Friends were able to dry out and warm themselves with tea and biscuits.

This year (2017) the Meeting is on Sunday 11th June and the speaker to introduce the Meeting will be Professor Hilary Hinds from the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University.

As always, if it is raining the Meeting will be held at Brigflatts FMH instead.

Enquires to the Warden

Photo of Meeting for Worship on Firbank Fell

Directions to Firbank Fell

Firbank Fell lies some 2Km East of the M6 and a similar distance North of the A684 about 4Km from Sedbergh
(OS Grid Ref SD 621 938).

Access is generally by driving north up the unclassified road from the A684 at the junction known as 'Black Horse' where the B6256 joins the A684. ("Black Horse" being the name of the former public house which stands on the corner and is still identifiable from the black horse relief in the front of the building.)

The lane up to the fell is very narrow and in places very steep. Meeting oncoming traffic can result in one party having to reverse for some distance.

Visitors to Fox's Pulpit are generally infrequent and usually there is no difficulty parking on the verge close to the crag. However, for the annual Meeting for Worship in June a field is usually made available for parking (on these ocasions there is a local Friend there to direct traffic.) The more athletic can leave their cars in the lay-by some 200m or so beyond Black Horse towards Sedbergh on the A684 and walk up the lane.

Turning in the lane is difficult but there is a gateway some 300m past the crag where a car can be turned. Alternatively visitors can continue for another 2.5Km  to the junction with the 'Old Scotch Road'. Turning left here will bring you back to the A684 close to Junction 37 of the M6. Turning left again will bring you back to Black Horse from whence you came!

Returning to Brigflatts

From Black Horse take the A684 to Sedbergh. About 200m past the 30mph limit on the outskirts of Sedbergh take the very sharp right turn onto the A683 towards Kirkby Lonsdale. The entrance to Brigflatts Lane is on the left about mile from the junction of the ‘A’ roads. (Friends who have embraced the technology may use the postcode LA10 5HN in their Sat-Nav system.) Parking for visitors is usually in the lay-by on the main road opoosite the end of the lane. Visitors with mobility difficulties may wish to drive down the lane - there are a very few parking spaces nearer to the Meeting House. On the day of the open-air Meeting for Worship on Firbank Fell, there will be parking available in a field adjacent to the lay-by.
Map of Firbank Fell area



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