Saturday, 21 March 2015

Cumbria - The other side

The part of Cumbria that very few people go to ...but more fool them - even in a cold week in January, the Cumbria Coast on the Solway Firth seems to be a very special place. This is a view in the late afternoon from the headland at Maryport.


The view was taken from the  footpath which runs between the sea and the site of Alavna Roman Fort  and the Senhouse Roman Museum. 

Maryport was created by Colonel Humphrey Senhouse in 1749 :the town was named after his wife, Mary.

The collection 0f Roman remains was started in 1570 by John Senhouse, Lord of the Manor of Ellenborough. In the eighteenth century Colonel  Senhouse employed a man to preserve and record any carved stonework brought to light during the wholesale removal of much of the Roman Fort to provide building stone for the new town. The collection is now housed in the building known as the Battery (a Royal Naval Artillery Volunteer Drill Hall built in 1885 to train naval gunners. The observation tower (seen in the distance in the photograph) gives a view of the full extent of the site.

Unfortunately the museum was shut by the time I had arrived.

‘A Fishy Tale'  is a life-size resin and iron ore sculpture on the banks of the river Ellen in Maryport portraying the custom of selling fish on the harbourside. It was created by Colin Telfer, a former miner and unveiled on 24 April 1995.

Christ Church by the harbour was built in  is of 1872, by Charles Eaglesfield in the Early English style, with a round apse and a North East steeple.Sold in 2013 for £65000.

In front of the former church is an anchor and mosaic seat- the anchor is a memorial to the sea farers of Maryport who have lost their lives at sea ( unveiled on 12 December 1972).  The moasic seat was designed and made by the pupils of Netherhall School. It depicts the local environs and history of the town and surrounding district.

The following day I drove up the coastal road from Maryport to Silloth with a stop at Allonby to see the sea.The sand and shingle beach has received an award for its cleanliness and safety

Christ Church, Allonby - The board outside the church states that it was established in 1744 - the present building dates from 1845 and is on the site of an earlier chapel . The stone building is in a cruciform shape and has a turret with one bell and a stained glass, three-light chancel window.

On the north side of Allonby is North Lodge. North Lodge was built by Thomas Richardson, a Quaker and Banker in London,who married an Allonby girl Martha Beeby in 1799. To provide a holiday home for his family, in the 1830s he built at the north end of the village a large house called North Lodge. It was a fine house and at either side of this were six cottages where local widows and spinsters could live rent free.

Further up the coast is the Victorian seaside resort of Silloth. The town owes its name to the monks of Holme Cultram Abbey, a few miles to the south east, who cultivated the land, created a salt industry and encouraged the local people to farm the Solway Marshes. The name derives from the 'lathes' (or barns) which were used to store the grain and located close to the sea, i.e.: 'Sea Lathes'.
It was in the mid 19th century that the Carlisle and Silloth Bay Railway initiated the development of Silloth as a town. An eminent physician declared 'the air to be cleaner and more health giving than anywhere else' and it soon became a popular holiday destination. 
Criffel Street is typical of the wonderful broad cobbled streets.

Christ Church  was built in 1870 using grey granite imported from Ireland, dates from 1870. It is in the Early Decorated style by Cory and Ferguson. It has a nave and aisles, an apse, and a NW porch steeple with broach-spire.

The Golf Hotel,on the corner of  Criffel Street and Eden Street. This is one of many buildings constructed in a grand regency style.

An old sign post on the corner of The Green. This open space is one of the largest and longest village Greens in England. The Green forms a grassy link between the Silloth townscape and the sea front promenade.

The promenade looking south in the sunshine but with a sprinkling of winter snow.

St Mary's Church, Abbeytown The nave of the church of the former Cistercian Holmcultram Abbey now serves as the local parish church - a wonderful building now mainly restored after the church was set alight in an arson attack which totally devastated the roof of the building, parts of which had been in situ since it was erected 900 years ago.

The west front of the church.

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