St Bees history

The village has a history going back as far as 850 AD. Much of the early history is linked to Priory and School and is covered in those sections.

Village heritage trail

Village History in a nutshell
The  coming of the railway
Three notable shipwrecks
Theological College

St Bees community Millennium Book


The Priory was founded in 1120 but its early history goes back even further to the times of St Bega in the 850s AD.

Post Reformation
19th Century
20th Century
Conjectural layout
Monastic Services

St Bees School was founded in 1583 by Edmuund Grindal, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was born in the village.

Click here for history, and present day activities.

Printed history guides are on sale in the Priory, which is open to the public daily. Front covers shown below.

1000 Years of History
St Bees Man
Bob’s Jottings
St Bees – A Cumbrian Coastal Village

St Bees News (Parish Magazine)


The discovery in 1981 of the  preserved body of a medieval knight – ” St Bees Man”, was one of the most extraordinary modern burial finds in Britain. There is a permanent display in the Priory Church. Open daily.

Original research
Latest Research

Thanks to the work of Bob Jopling,  we now have a proper record of the St Bees parish people who died in the Boer War and the two World Wars.

Boer War
World War 1
World War 2
School Victoria Crosses
Roll of Honour
The Memorials described

In 1939 Mill Hill School from North London was evacuated to St Bees for the duration of the Second World War.

These pages record the history and subsquent reunions

Mill Hill School at St Bees
Reunions at St Bees

Priory Paddock wildflower garden

(Contains memorials to Mill Hill)

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