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Garsdale is a civil parish occupying a narrow populated valley in Cumbria, England. It is on the western slopes of the Pennines, between Baugh Fell to the north, and Rise Hill to the south. The main hamlet, called “The Street” lies on the A684 road, six miles (9 km) east of Sedbergh, and ten miles (16 km) west of Hawes. The other hamlet in Garsdale is Garsdale Head, also called Hawes Junction, the old name for Garsdale railway station, after the former Wensleydale branch on the famous Settle to Carlisle railway.
Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, Garsdale is within the South Lakeland local government district, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Garsdale’s river, the Clough, is mainly shallow and rocky, with occasional pools large enough for swimming, though the water is always cold. It rises on the north-eastern slopes of Baugh Fell and flows through Grisedale (“The Dale that Died”) as Grisedale Beck until it becomes the Clough River at Garsdale Head. The A684 (Northallerton to Kendal) road follows the river for seven miles with frequent bridges in the upper part of the dale. At Longstone Fell (locally known, and spoken as "Langst'n Fell"), the main (former turnpike) road rises to a well-known view-point looking over the Howgill Fells, and the river descends to Danny Bridge, the site of a seventeenth century mill on the “old road”, before joining the River Rawthey near Sedbergh. The Sedgwick Trail, named after the well-known geologist Adam Sedgwick (1785–1873) runs along the Clough from Danny Bridge and highlights rock features along the Dent fault.
The permanent population of the valley is just over 200, with many of the 150 houses being derelict or used as second homes. The Anglican Church of St John the Baptist, built in 1861 next to the original mediaeval church, lies six miles from Sedbergh, between "The Street" and Garsdale Hall (which was once an inn but is now used as a farm store). There are also three Methodist chapels – Low Smithy and Garsdale Street, both in regular use, and Hawes Junction which has occasional special events. The only other public building in Garsdale is the village hall which was formerly the primary school.
Garsdale has eighteen working farms, most of them amalgamating several of the original smallholdings. Because of the high annual rainfall of up to 100 inches (2500 mm), crops other than hay and silage are almost impossible, so all farms are stock rearing. Pedigree Swaledale rams occasionally make high prices at Hawes Auction mart.
Famous people born in Garsdale include John Dawson (1734–1820), James Inman (1776–1859) and John Haygarth (1740–1827)