Ravenstonedale (Raven-stan-dale after Raven beck or Russendale in local dialect) is a pretty thriving village with a single street and many outlying farms and hamlets. The area includes Newbiggin-on-Lune (see separate), Bowderdale and Fell End. Many gills flow into the Scandal Beck which flows through the village north to meet the River Eden east of Soulby In Wath, Ravenstonedale the River Lune is formed which is the last of the rivers to flow south.
The Parish Church of St Oswald was rebuilt in the 18th century as a replacement of an earlier church. Important features include collegiate style box pews, a three-decker pulpit and a memorial window commemorating Elizabeth Gaunt a member of the local Fothergill family. Elizabeth was an Anabaptist and in a show trail she was accused of involvement in the Rye House Plot a conspiracy against King Charles II. Believed to be innocent, Elizabeth was burnt at the stake at Tyburn on 23 October 1685 and became the last women in England to be executed for a political crime. Next to the church are the remains of a Gilbertine Priory (actually a house
At the other end of the village is High Chapel founded in 1662 for independent non-conformist religion. This was supported and endowed by Philip, the 4th Lord Wharton. The present building was built in 1726 and has served Presbyterian, Congregational and latterly part of the United Reform Church. Today the chapel is a community and heritage centre.
There is also a Wesleyan Methodist Low Chapel and an endowed primary school still in use.
Amongst the historic building are two pubs, The Black Swan Hotel and shop and the Kings Head both occupying pretty spots next to the river. The Fat Lamb and Nature Reserve are on the outskirts towards Fell End on the Sedbergh road. There is a Coronation Meadow at Piper Hole and a nine-hole Riverside Golf Course. The surrounding hills are the Howgills and good walking country.
Ravenstonedale have their own village website where you will also find news of events.
Next to Ravenstonedale on the A685 towards Tebay is Newbiggin-on-Lune in fact there is now a cycle path that links the two. Situated on the River Lune, this is the first of the rivers that flows south and 44 miles later comes out in Lancaster.
Once a thriving village, the general store is now Biggins Day Nursery and St Aiden’s a private house. The Methodist Chapel still holds services and the village hall a favourite venue for plays.
There is a plant nursery Weasdale Nursery for “growers with altitude” and the Lune Springs Garden Centre where Norman is happy to sell you a plant or delicious scone. If you like fishing there is the Bessy Becks Trout Fishery with B’s Tearoom, Bessy Beck Tackle Shop and Farm Shop where you can also buy some of their beautiful trout produce and other items.