Staveley is situated off the A591 between Kendal and Windermere and has been said to be the Gateway to the Lakes. It mainly comprises grey slate buildings which are nestled between the Rivers Kent and Gowan. This once forested area was grazed as early as 4000BC. Iron Age farmers settled first and were followed by the English and Scandinavians.

Suffering its share of problems during medieval times, the village continued to grow. It gained a market charter in 1329 and began holding annual fairs and weekly markets. In 1341 a fulling mill operated in the village.

St Margaret's Church was built in 1388. Only its tower remains. St James took its place in 1865 and shows off a stained glass east window designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones and made by William Morris and Co. A Primitive Methodist Chapel was erected in 1834 and a Wesleyan one in 1836.