At the end of Whitsun 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 a plaque that reads:
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 around ‘Fox’s Pulpit’ and then retire afterwards to Brigflatts for refreshments.
For details of our next Open Air Meeting for Worship please go to our calendar or use the contact form.
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 occasions 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 Firbank Fell
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 ½ 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 is not a simple matter. For a current update on where to park on the day please use the contact form.