Open main menu
Not to be confused with the village in Nether Denton, Cumbria, or with the road in Cwmpennar.

Low Row is a village in Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire, England. It lies about 3 miles west of Reeth and is between Healaugh and Gunnerside. It is part of the Richmondshire parish Melbecks. It is a linear village running along one road, the B6270.[1] To the east, Low Row merges with the settlement of Feetham.

Low Row
Low Row.jpg
Entering Low Row
Low Row is located in North Yorkshire
Low Row
Low Row
Location within North Yorkshire
OS grid referenceSD980978
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtDL11
PoliceNorth Yorkshire
FireNorth Yorkshire
EU ParliamentYorkshire and the Humber
List of places
54°22′33″N 2°01′51″W / 54.37593°N 2.03088°W / 54.37593; -2.03088Coordinates: 54°22′33″N 2°01′51″W / 54.37593°N 2.03088°W / 54.37593; -2.03088

A working farm, Hazel Brow Farm, is open to visitors and 'The Punch Bowl', a stone inn dated 1638, is by the main road.[2]



The name Low Row comes from the Norse "The Wra" (a nook).[3] The surname "Raw" is associated with the village.[4] The village was raided by Jacobites in 1745, and bodies probably from that raid are buried at the church in Low Row.[2]

On 5 July 2014, the Tour de France Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate passed through the village.[5]

Smarber Chapel and Low Row United Reformed ChurchEdit

The remains of Smarber Chapel in 2009, looking east. The chapel is in the foreground. The former cottage, now a barn, stands behind

Philip, Lord Wharton,[6] owned land in the area. On this stood a number of shooting lodges including one at Crackpot, near Keld, and one at Smarber, a small hamlet on the ridge to the west of Low Row. A Puritan sympathiser, in around 1690 Wharton converted part of the Smarber lodge into a chapel for ‘Protestant Dissenters’.[7] He particularly had the needs of the local lead miners in mind.

It was a small, simple building; the lower part of the dry-stone wall remains and shows evidence of plaster and the location of a window. At the east end, an adjoining barn still stands. This also shows traces of plaster and windows and is considered[8] originally to have been a cottage attached to the chapel. It is known[9][10] that Wharton bought land near Kirkby Stephen, the income from which was to support a minister at Smarber.

Low Row United Reformed Church, 2007

In 1809 a new chapel was built, beside the road at the west end of Low Row, and the former building fell into disrepair. Having originally tended to favour the Presbyterian position, the chapel declared itself Congregational in 1867, during the 50-year ministry of John Boyd.[11] He also supervised a major rebuild in 1874. This cost over £300 and resulted in the building as seen today.[12] Now part of the United Reformed Church, an active congregation continues to worship in the chapel and ‘pilgrimages’ to the former building take place from time to time.[13]


  1. ^ Smith, Roly (2008). Swaledale. Frances Lincoln Ltd. p. 49. ISBN 0-7112-2636-9.
  2. ^ a b Scholes, Ron (2006). Yorkshire Dales. Landmark Visitor Guide. Hunter Publishing Inc. p. 145. ISBN 1-84306-209-7.
  3. ^ Fleming, Andrew (1998). Swaledale: valley of the wild river. Edinburgh University Press. p. 47. ISBN 1-85331-197-9.
  4. ^ Ucko, Peter J.; Layton, Robert (2004). The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape: Shaping Your Landscape. Routledge. p. 69.
  5. ^ "Tour de France Stage 1". Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ Wadsworth, K W, Philip, Lord Wharton – Revolutionary Aristocrat? Journal of the United Reformed Church History Society Volume 4 No 8 May 1991(being the 1990 Annual Lecture of the Society)
  7. ^ Stell, Christopher An inventory of nonconformist chapels and meeting-houses in the north of England 1994 Page 215
  8. ^ Historic England. "Monument No. 595356". PastScape. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  9. ^ Dale, Bryan, The Good Lord Wharton, revised edition 1906
  10. ^ Whitehead, T. History of the Dales Congregational Churches, Keighley 1930. p.151.
  11. ^ The Christian World 27 August 1875
  12. ^ A Church Renewed, Low Row United Reformed Church, 1974
  13. ^ Conran, Elizabeth, Dissent in the Two Dales 1662–2012, 2012

External linksEdit

  Media related to Low Row at Wikimedia Commons