From Wikishire
Jump to: navigation, search
Shap - Market Cross.jpg
Shap Market Cross
Grid reference: NY563150
Location: 54°31’44"N, 2°40’34"W
Population: 1,221  (2001)
Post town: Penrith
Postcode: CA10
Dialling code: 01931
Local Government
Council: Eden
Penrith and the Border

Shap is a linear village in Westmorland. It lies among the fells of the Lake District in what was once an isolated spot, and by most measures it remains so but for passing through of the A6 road, the West Coast Main Line, and nearby the M6 motorway, all taking advantage of a pass over the fells.

Shap is on the gentle rise above the young stream of the River Lowther 10 miles south of Penrith and about 15 miles north of Kendal.


Early forms such as Hep and Yheppe point to an Old Norse rendering Hjáp of an Old English]] original Heap, perhaps referring to an ancient cairn or stone circle.

The village

St Michael's Church

The village has four pubs, a small supermarket, a fish and chip shop, an antique book shop, a butcher's shop, a primary school, a newsagent's, a coffee shop, a ceramic art studio called Edge Ceramics, a fire station, a bank (only open 4 hours a week), a shoe shop (New Balance factory shop) the parish church (Church of England) and 3 B&B/ Hostels.

The parish church is St Michael's, serving the parish of Shap with Swindale.

Major employers in the area are Hanson and Tata Steel.

Although Shap is geographically a small village, it is legally a market town with a charter dating from the 17th century. At one time, the granite works (which are situated about a mile outside the village) was in itself a separate community, with its own Co-op store.

The civil parish of Shap includes the hamlet of Keld and parts of the granite works and limestone works, and has a population of 1,221.[1] The parish shares a joint parish council with Shap Rural.

Shap is on the route of the Coast to Coast Walk. There are a few places to stop on this long walk once arriving in Shap. The New Ing Lodge, the Hermitage, Brookfield House, Green Farm (camping) and the King's Arms and Greyhound pubs.

On 22 October 1999, a Hawk jet from RAF Leeming crashed into an empty barn in the village before disintegrating across the A6 and West Coast railway line, killing its two-man crew.

Transport links

The Lancaster and Carlisle Railway (now part of the West Coast Main Line), opened on 17 December 1846, and runs along the eastern edge of the village, but Shap railway station was closed in 1968, though there have been recent calls for its re-opening. The village sits on the A6 main road, and until the building of the M6, all of the main west coast road traffic ran through the village. Shap has easy access to the M6.


Shap Summit

Shap Summit is a point on the motorway and a point on the railway, so called as it is the highest point on each; on the motorway the summit is at NY583120 at 1,050 feet feet above sea level, and on the railway at NY570110 (984 feet).

Shap Fell used to be notorious for the difficult and dangerous stretch of A6 for drivers, and it includes a well-known section of the West Coast Main Line. It has a 1:75 gradient for trains heading north, and in the days of steam locomotives banking engines from Tebay were often being used to assist trains. It has been popular with railway photographers and there have been many pictures published taken in the area, most notably at Scout Green which lies on the southern approach to the hill.

Shap Fell NY530088 is known for Shap granite[2] that is a pink rock rich in orthoclase, quartz and biotite; Shap Pink Quarry NY557083 takes its name from this.

Shap Abbey NY547151 is nearby in the secluded valley of the river Lowther. It stands impressive and in ruins. It was built in 1199.

Shap Wells has a mineral spa located in the grounds of the Shap Wells hotel which was used in Second World War as a prisoner of war camp.

Popular culture

Some of the scenes in the feature film Withnail and I were filmed around Shap. Sleddale Hall, the filming location for Uncle Monty's cottage Crow Crag, is located near Wet Sleddale Reservoir.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Shap)