Kelly's Directory, 1897

WHITEHAVEN is a municipal and parliamentary borough, market town, and township, the head of a union and county court district, with stations on the London and North-Western and Furness railways, and is 7 miles south from Workington, 12 south-south-west from Maryport, 15 ½ south-south-west (by rail) from Cockermouth, 40 south-west from Carlisle, 64 north-west from Lancaster, 36 north-west from Broughton, 6 north-north-west from Egremont and 296 from London, in the Western division of the county, ward and petty sessional division of Allerdale-above-Derwent, rural deanery of Whitehaven, archdeaconry of Westmorland and diocese of Carlisle.

The town, situated on a small, but fine bay, and enclosed on the north and south by lofly wooded hills, rising abruptly from its outskirts, contains a number of well-built and generally wide streets, crossing each other at right angles, and many of which were laid out by Sir John Lowther bart. at the end of the 17th century; from the heights on either side, good views are afforded of the town and harbour, the Scottish coast on the opposite side of the Solway Frith, and the Isle of Man. Whitehaven is the northern terminus of the Furness railways; the terminus of the Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport, and the Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith branches of the London and North-Western railway; as well as of the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont railway system, from all which constant and direct communication is maintained with all parts of the kingdom.

The derivation of the name “Whitehaven” is very uncertain, but the place is referred to as “Whyttolhaven” in charters relating to the ancient manor and priory of St. Bees, as far back as the beginning of the 12th century.

Little is known of the history of Whitehaven prior to the early part of the 17th century, but it is asserted that the site of the present town and the adjacent heights were formerly covered by a forest. According to historical documents, the Irish were in the habit, during the loth century, of resorting to this neighbourhood for the supply of wood to make boats, noggins, and other utensils, many of which were imported hither.

All the lands in this neighbourhood appear to have belonged to the priory of St. Bees, or to the Benedictine abbey of St. Mary’s at York, to which the priory was attached, but in 1599 the manor of St. Bees was purchased from Sir Thomas Chaloner kt. by Gerard Lowther and Thomas Wyberg esqrs. Sir John Lowther bart. grandson of Sir Christopher Lowther kt. M.P. who had previously settled here, in 1644 erected a mansion, the commencement of the present castle, and under his auspices the place advanced rapidly towards prosperity. He conceived the project of working the coal mines and improving the harbour, and having obtained from Charles II. a grant of all derelict land which then remained to the Crown, and the land for two miles northward between high and low water mark, commenced this undertaking, which was carried on with great spirit and energy by his descendant Sir James Lowther bart. created Earl of Lonsdale in 1784, who succeeded to the Whitehaven estate in 1755, and the port has since progressively risen to its present rank and importance, and is now the chief seaport of the county.

On the 23rd of April, 1778, the notorious Paul Jones landed at Whitehaven, with about 30 armed men, from an American privateer, the “Ranger.” These desperadoes set fire to three ships, expecting that the flames would spread through the 200 then in the harbour; but being betrayed by one of their number, they were compelled to make a precipitate retreat, which they effected unhurt, after spiking the guns in the battery. Jones, who was a native of Galloway, had served his apprenticeship as a seaman in a vessel belonging to Whitehaven.

The harbour of Whitehaven is easy of access, deep water extending at all times close to the outer pier heads, and it further possesses distinct natural advantages, being situated on the Irish Sea, at the southern entrance to the Solway Firth, about 36 miles south-west from Carlisle and 3 miles east-north-east from St. Bees’ Head, the bay extending from St. Bees Head to Workington Point, a distance of about 9 ½ miles and 1 mile in breadth. It is protected on the north and west by noble piers of solid masonry, stretching into the sea, while six others, intersecting the enclosed area, greatly facilitate the transaction of business, and afford complete protection to shipping. In 1738 the harbour had only three piers; one of these was erected by Sir John Lowther before 1687, and at that time the harbour was sufficiently large to shelter a fleet of 100 sail. Two Acts of Parliament were passed in the reign of Queen Anne, under which tonnage duty was imposed on vessels, for the purpose of improving the harbour, and since that date many additional works have been carried out, and improvements made by successive boards of trustees, aided from time to time, by the highest contemporary engineering skill. This harbour has many advantages over ports lving to the northwards, as the navigation higher up the Firth is much impeded by the continually shifting sandbanks; here also the approach is well under the shelter of St. Bees' Head during the westerly winds which prevail for three-fourths of the year, and ships of 3,500 tons gross, and drawing 22 feet of water, can be safely and expeditiously docked at ordinary spring tides; ordinary spring tides rise 26 feet, equinoctial springs 28 feet, and neaps 20 feet above low water mark of an ordinary spring tide, the bay being exposed from south-west to north-by-west. The outer harbour, contained between the west and north piers, has an area of about 25 acres, and its opening is 500 feet in width, with a direction north-north-east. The inner harbour, of nine acres, is approached by the outer one through an opening 150 feet in width, between the old quay to the west and the north wall end to the, east. Westward of the inner harbour are the custom house dock of 3 acres and the south harbour of 4 ¼ acres and in the east are the north harbour of 3 ½ acres and the Queen’s wet dock.

The Queen’s dock, designed and completed in 1876 by Sir James Brunlees C.E., F.R.S.E. is approached through the north harbour, which acts as a tidal basin to the dock, and is perfectly sheltered in all weathers. This dock is 550 feet long by 320 wide, and has an area of 4 ¾ acres; the entrance is 50 feet in width with a depth of water on the sill of 22 feet at high water of ordinary spring tides, and 16 feet at high water of ordinary neap tides. The total length of the quay space around the dock is 1,530 lineal feet, and lines of railways are laid around the four sides, communicating with the London and North-Western and Furness railways, and the appliances for loading and discharging cargoes are such as to give a rapidity of dispatch equal to that of any dock in the kingdom.

The Sugar Tongue in the south harbour is 570 lineal feet in length and 52 feet in breadth, and is covered in by a substantial slate roof, supported on cast iron columns. It has two lines of rails connecting it with other railways; here also are five fixed 2 ton hand cranes, an overhead and travelling crane, and portable steam and hand cranes.

The Lime Tongue, which separates the custom house dock from the inner harbour, is 600 feet in length and 27 feet wide, but has no rails.

The Bulwark pier, which separates the inner harbour from the Queen’s dock and north harbour, is 660 lineal feet in length and 34 feet wide, and has 3 lines of rails. The north wall, begun in 1770, and completed in 1784, and the wet dock wall, form three sides of the north harbour, and have a total length of 1,225 lineal feet, with railways on all sides.

The old quay, lengthened in 1792 and improved in 1809, is now 750 feet in length; near the end is a circular light-tower, exhibiting at night a fixed red light when there is 9 feet of water in the inner harbour; in the daytime the same depth of water is indicated by a red flag hoisted from a circular tower at the end of the new quay. This quay, lengthened in 1767, is how 240 feet long, and at the west end is the storehouse of the rocket brigade; these quays have no lines of rail, and berths on one side only. The west pier, a massive structure, by the late Sir John Rennie, was begun in 1824 and completed in 1830, at a cost of upwards of £100,000; it is 930 feet in length and 58 wide, and has a railway over its whole length; at the end is a magnificent round head, which cost £30,000 to build, and on which stands a circular light-house with three reflectors and a white light, revolving every two minutes, from sunset to sunrise; this light is 52 feet above high water mark, and is visible at a distance of 11 miles in clear weather. Near the light-house is a steam fog horn, for use during thick or foggy weather; towards the end of the pier is a low water landing and an inclined cattle slip 10 feet in width, with an easy gradient. The north pier, also designed and executed by Sir John Rennie, and completed in 1841, is a noble structure, 820 feet in length and 45 feet wide, but has no lines of rail. At the end of this pier is a circular light-house or harbour guide, showing a fixed green light, and distant 200 yards from the revolving light of the West pier.

Legal quays were appointed 16 April, 1850.

The gridiron, on the east side of the Lime Tongue pier, and the property of the Harbour Trustees, is 200 feet in length, with a depth of water of 12 feet at ordinary spring tides and 6 feet at neaps. On the east Strand is a patent slip, erected by the Earl of Lonsdale, and admitting four vessels of 150 tons burden, and so constructed that vessels of any burden may be drawn out of the water into the yard to be repaired.

The whole of the piers and quays are lighted by means of incandescent electric lamps, special illumination being provided on those quays which are most frequently used at night for loading and unloading vessels; fresh water is laid on along all the quays and piers, the supply being constant and at high pressure, and ships are supplied at any time. A steam tug and a harbour boat are always ready, and the use of the latter is compulsory on all incoming vessels.

The leading exports are coal and iron, which are despatched to Ireland and the Isle of Man and also abroad. The limits of the port have been fixed to extend from Duddon bridge down the Duddon to the sea, and thence along the coast to Lower Reck. Fishing boats and their implements are distinguished by the letters”W. A.”

By the Borough and Harbour of Whitehaven Scheme, approved and confirmed by the Privy Council on the 27th June, 1894, a body of 15 Commissioners was constituted for the government of the Harbour, and consists of the lord of the manor of St. Bees for the time being or his deputy, 3 persons appointed by the lord of the manor, 4 members of the town council appointed by the council, 3 persons elected by such of the inhabitants as pay harbour dues, and by ship masters and ship owners connected with or using the harbour, and 4 persons elected by the holders of Whitehaven Harbour mortgages or bonds. The representatives of the town council are appointed annually. The traders, shipowners and bond holders elect representatives every three years.

Whitehaven was constituted a parliamentary borough by the Reform Act of 1832 (2 and 3 Wm. IV. c. 451; the borough includes the greater portion of the Preston Quarter township, and returns one member to Parliament.

The Local Government Act, 1858 (21 and 22 Vict. c. 98) and that of 1861, with certain exceptions, were adopted by the Improvement District, 16 Oct. 1863, and the town was governed from that date by a body of Improvement Commissioners, but in 1894 was created a municipal borough by Royal Charter, dated 11 July, in that year, and on the 9 Nov. following the Earl of Lonsdale was elected the first mayor of the borough, which comprises the area of the parliamentary borough, including the foreshore adjoining that, area and the whole of the harbour of Whitehaven. The borough is divided into six wards, and the Corporation consists of 6 aldermen and 18 councillors, one of whom serves as mayor.

The town and district is supplied with water from Ennerdale Lake; the water, conducted in pipes laid underground for about nine miles, is of the softest and purest description, and the supply is practically inexhaustible, even in the most droughty summers; the works belong to the Town Trustees. The town was first lighted with gas in 1831, at first by two companies, and subsequently by a joint company, with works on the Bransty and on the St. Bees road, but this is now only used for private lighting purposes. The town was lighted by 450 electric incandescent lamps on Sept. 1st, 1893, from works situated on the West Strand, the property of the Town Trustees, and the principal business and residential streets have now a separate supply for private consumers.

The town comprises four parishes, viz:-St. Nicholas, Holy Trinity, St. James, and Christ Church, all of which were formed out of the ancient parish of St. Bees.

The parish of St. Nicholas was formed 11 Aug. 1835; the church, erected as a chapel in 1693, and rebuilt in 1883, at a cost of £10,093, by Margaret Gibson, of Whitehaven, as a memorial to her parents, Robert and Elizabeth Gibson, is an edifice of stone in the Gothic style, from designs by C. J. Ferguson esq. F.S.A, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of five bays, north and south aisles, vestry, south chapel, south and west pinnacles, containing a clock and 1 bell; the old porch, bearing the inscription, “consecrated in 1693,” is still standing. The stained east window is a memorial to John Thomson, d. 18 April, 1878, and Isabella, his wife, d. 25 July, 1847, and was erected by their children, Isabella Thomson and William Thomson D.D. Lord Archbishop of York; there is also a memorial window to the archbishop, who was born in this parish 11 Feb. 1819, and died 25 Dec. 1890; one erected in 1892 by Mr. Thomas Tyson to his two children, and another to Joseph Henry Robinson, d. 24 April, 1878; in the church are tablets inscribed to the Rev. Curwen Huddleston M.A. a former incumbent, d. 24 March, 1771; to his son, the Rev. Wilfrid Huddleston B.A. a former incumbent, d. 7 April, 1829; and to the Rev. Andrew Huddleston D.D. rector of Moresby from 1821, of Bowness from 1828, and upwards of 46 years incumbent here, d. 22 Nov. 1851; there are others to Sir Richard Senhouse, and to Joshua Dixon M.D. d. Jan. 1825; and in the chancel is an inscription recording the rebuilding of the church in 1883. The carved oak pulpit was presented by Miss Isabella Thomson, as a memorial to her sister Jane; the organ, dated 1756, belonged to the old church, and was built by Snetzler; the communion table was the gift of the late Right Hon. George A. F. Cavendish Bentinck P.C. and M.P. for Whitehaven (d. 1891); the former table now stands in the chapel; the font, of Shap granite, and oak vestry chairs were given by C. J. Ferguson F.S.A.; the old Sun.-dial has been refixed at the south-east angle; the church affords 1,200 sittings. The registers date from the year 1603. The living was declared a vicarage 11 Dec. 1866, net yearly value £130, with residence, in the gift of five trustees, and held since 1884 by the Rev. Charles Benjamin Samuel Gillings B.A. of University College, Durham and surrogate.

The parish of Holy Trinity was formed 11 Aug. 1835; the church, in Scotch street, erected by subscription in 1714—15, at a cost of £2,075, and consecrated 2 Oct. in that year, is a plain edifice of stone, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, aisles, and a western tower with pinnacles, containing a clock and 1 bell; the east window and others are stained; in the church is a marble monument, protected by very fine wrought iron railing, to Sir James Lowther bart. of Whitehaven, M.P. for the county, and F.R.S, who died 2 Jan. 1755, and is interred beneath; there are other monuments and tablets to the Rev. John Dalton, rector of Distington, and first incumbent of this church, d. 1729; and to the Rev. Charles Cobbe Church, 24 years incumbent, from 1785, d. March, 1808; the font was presented by the relatives of Mary, wife of the Rev. Canon Thomas Dalton, incumbent here from Nov. 1840, d. 6 Feb. 1874; the old font of 1715 is now preserved in the tower. In 1771—2, the roofs and other portions of the fabric were repaired; and about 1896 the interior was extensively restored and refitted, and lighted by electricity, under the direction of Mr. J. S. Brodie, at a cost of about £1,500; the deep galleries surrounding the interior have been repaired, the roofs and flooring renewed and the church reseated: there are now 1,200 sittings. The register of baptisms and marriages dates from the year 1715, and burials from 1716. The living was declared a vicarage 17 March, 1868, gross yearly value £300, in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale and the pewholders alternately, and held since 1880 by the Rev. James Anderson, of the University of Edinburgh and surrogate.

St. James’ parish was formed out of that of St. Bees, 11 Aug. 1835; the church in High street, erected in 1752, is a large edifice of stone, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles and a tower containing a clock and 1 bell; the chancel was restored in 1873 by the late Right Hon. George A. Cavendish Bentinck P.C., M.P. and in 1886 the church was again restored and reseated at a cost of £866. The altar piece, a valuable painting of the “Transfiguration,” the work of Procaccini, a pupil of Correggio, was presented by the late Earl of Lonsdale. In the tower is a mural monument of marble to the Rev. Thomas Spedding M.A. first incumbent of this church, who died in April, 1783; and another to the Rev. Richard Armitstead, rector of Moresby, and upwards of 30 years minister here, d. May, 1821: there are about 1,500 sittings.

The register dates from the year 1753. The living was declared a vicarage, 4 June, 1867, net yearly value £210, with glebe and residence, in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale, and held since 1881 by the Rev. Robert Duncan M.A. of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford.

Christ Church parish was formed out of that of St. Bees, 5 Aug. 1845; the church, in Preston street, erected in 1847 at a cost of £2,200, is a building of stone in the Early Norman style, consisting of nave, aisles and an eastern turret, containing 2 bells: there are sittings for about 600 persons. The register dates from the year 1848. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £295, in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale, and held since 1892 by the Rev. Thomas Scudamore Cunningham, of St. Bees, who resides at St. Bees.

The Catholic Mission here was founded in 1706; the church, in Coach road, dedicated to St. Bega, and erected in 1868, is a building of stone in the Decorated English style, consisting of apsidal chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, lateral chapels and sacristy; the sanctuary and the two side chapels are separated by carved screens; the roofs of the nave and aisles are of open timber work, and those of the chancel and side chapels are divided by wooden ribs into panels: there are 650 sittings. The school chapel of SS. Gregory and Patrick, in Quay street, was erected in 1890 and is served from St. Bega's.

The Congregational Church, in Scotch street, erected in 1874 at a cost of £10,500, is a building of concrete in the Gothic style, with a stone front, in the lower portion of which is an arcade with granite columns, and attached is a square tower with spire; the aisles are so constructed that they can be formed into eight separate class rooms; in 1883 the late Mr. George Jackson, of Whitehaven, presented an organ in memory of his daughter, at a cost of upwards of £500; there are sittings for 850 persons.

The Presbyterian Church, in James street, erected in 1695, and enlarged about 1755, was again enlarged in 1857, when a new front in the Gothic style was built at a cost of over £800; there are several stained windows, and the church affords 800 sittings.

The Primitive Methodist church, in Richmond terrace, is a building of stone, erected in 1859, and will seat 600.

The Free Methodist chapel, in Catherine street, erected in 1836 at a cost of £1,700, is of stone and has 550 sittings.

The Wesleyan Methodist church, in Lowther street, erected in 1879 at a cost of £11,000, is a fine building of granite with freestone facings, in the Gothic style, and has a neat square tower, and affords 900 sittings.

The Society of Friends have a meeting place in Sandhills lane, erected in 1727; attached is a small burial ground, but this was closed against interments in 1855.

The Christian Brethren have a chapel in Gore’s buildings, but their services are generally held in the Liberal Hall.

The Plymouth Brethren hold services in Tangier Hall, George street, and the Salvation Army in the Protestant Hall, Duke street. There is a Sailors’ Rest in Strand street, and a Seamen’s Bethel in Lowther street.

A large stone building, near the Wallington pit, used for many years as a Primitive Methodist chapel, was originally built in 1789, as a chapel for the Church of England, but it was not consecrated, owing to a “caveat” having been entered against it by the impropriator of St. Bees.

The Cemetery for Whitehaven and Preston Quarter, in St. Bees road, was opened about 1855, and contains 19 ½ acres of ground, with two mortuary chapels; it is controlled by a Burial Board of 14 members, 12 representing the Whitehaven Town Council and 2 the Preston Quarter Parish Council.

The Town Hall, bought and converted to public uses in 1850, stands in Duke street; it contains a public room 63 feet by 37 feet, which is used for assemblies and lectures, and will hold 500 persons; there is also here a room used for the meetings of the Town Council, and offices for the town clerk, surveyor and sanitary inspector.

The municipal insignia include a great mace and a mayor’s chain and badge, both presented by the Right Hon. the Earl of Lonsdale on his election in 1894 as first, mayor of Whitehaven. The mace, of silver gilt, is about 3 feet in length; the shaft, is divided into three lengths by knops, that at the base being spherical, and resting on a flat circular plate bearing the monogram and coronet of the donor; the shaft is further ornamented with embossed roses, and at the upper end scrolled flanges support the mace head, which is adorned with the arms of the borough and those of the Earl of Lonsdale and their respective mottoes; round the head, of the mace is a fillet with the name of the borough, and surmounting this a coronet of crosses pattee and fleurs-de-lis, from which spring four scrolls, forming a sort of crown, their curled ends resting on an orb, placed very low down, and carrying the figure of a dragon passant, the crest of the Lowthers. The chain consists of 18 shield links, alternating with the letters composing the word “Whitehaven,” in antique capitals, twice repeated; the central link exhibits the arms, supporters and crest of the Earl of Lonsdale, flanked on either side by a miner’s pick, and from this depends a circular badge displaying the borough arms within a wreath of oak leaves, interrupted by four small medallions, with representations in enamel of the local industries; on the back of the badge is an inscription recording the circumstances of the presentation.

The Custom House and Harbour Dues Offices are situated on the West Strand, and the Harbour Master’s Office on the Queen’s Dock Quay.

The County Court in Sandhills lane, erected in 1875 at a cost of £3,000, is a substantial stone building, containing public offices, registrar’s offices and a court room.

The County Police Station and Lock-up are in Scotch street.

The Union Hall, in Scotch street, is a neat building of stone, erected in 1880—1 at a cost of £4,500.

The Free Public Library in Queen street was opened 15 May, 1888, by His Grace the Archbishop of York; the building was formerly used as a Mechanics’ Institute (founded in 1842), and contains a spacious reading and news room on the ground floor, a library of over 6,000 volumes, with reference, reading and committee rooms on the first floor, and above is a large room generally used for lectures; the whole is under the control of a committee of 14 persons, viz.-the Mayor, the Deputy-Mayor and 6 members of the Council, and 6 ratepayers appointed by the Council.

The Whitehaven Subscription Library, in Catherine street, founded 20 Feb. 1797. now contains nearly 9,000 volumes.

The Theatre, in Roper street, is a building of stone, erected in 1760, and will seat 700 persons.

The Baths, erected in 1883—84, by a company, at a cost of £5,665, are in Duke street, and consist of a swimming bath 54 feet 6 inches by 30 feet 6 inches; private baths, a Turkish bath, and large and complete public washhouses.

The West Cumberland Agricultural Society holds its meeting here annually, when money prizes and cups to the value of £300 are competed for. The Whitehaven Horticultural Society also holds its meeting here annually.

The Pigeon and Cage Bird Show, instituted in 1880, is held annually in the Market Hall.

The Whitehaven Scientific Association, founded in Nov. 1867 as the”Whitehaven Natural History Society,” and so called until 1870, now occupies premises in Howgill street, purchased by the Association in 1874, and comprising a museum and a library. The latter, formed in 1876, has now about 500 volumes; the Science and Art classes, begun in 1869, in connection with the Science and Art Department, South Kensington, were afterwards for some time discontinued, but were resumed in 1880, and since 1892 have been conducted under the management of the Whitehaven Urban District Technical Instruction Committee; president, P. L. Addison; hon. secs. Mr. R. Russell C.E., F.G.S. and Mr. J. Love; hon. librarian, H. Walker.

Five newspapers are published here, viz.-“Cumberland Pacquet,” “Whitehaven Advertiser,” “Whitehaven Gazette,” “Whitehaven Free Press,” and the “Whitehaven News.”

The markets are held on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and are well supplied with provisions, especially on Thursday, which is the principal market day; the last-named is also for corn; Friday is the early closing day; the Market Hall is in the Market place.

The Whitehaven collieries, now belonging to the Lowther family, have been worked since about 1650, and are at present leased by the Earl of Lonsdale to the Whitehaven Colliery Co. The mines worked are now four in number, two on the north side of the town and two on the south. The Croft pit was sunk in 1775; the Wellington pit, sunk in 1845, is about 150 fathoms deep; its workings, on account of the dip of the strata, being carried to a greater depth than those of the neighbouring mines; the ways and passages of this mine are spacious and well ventilated, and lined with masonry, and its upper galleries communicate with those of the William pit. During the years 1863—4, the Wallington pit was rendered unproductive on account of one of the seams of coal having been accidentally fired, rendering it necessary to flood the mine through a boring to the sea.

William pit, sunk in 1807 to the right of the harbour, and about 100 fathoms deep, is said to be one of the best planned and most conveniently arranged collieries in the kingdom.

Henry pit, sunk in 1872, and 140 fathoms in depth, is so close to the William pit as to permit of both being worked, from the same shaft; these mines extend for a distance of 3 miles underneath the sea and the adjacent headlands, and produce some of the finest domestic coal in the north of England; the coal is conveyed by tramways from the collieries to the piers, which are provided with ample facilities for the loading of vessels.

Whitehaven is also the nearest and most convenient point of export for the well-known West Cumberland iron ore deposits, which are the richest in the world, and it is consequently the centre of a large and increasing number of smelting and finished iron works, erected in close proximity to the iron ore mines.

Hematite iron ore is sent both coastwise and abroad, the quantity exported necessarily fluctuating according to the current state of the iron trade, but as much as 330,000 tons have been shipped in one year. Steel rails and sleepers are often exported from the adjoining steel works, and steam and hand cranes have been specially provided to facilitate this traffic. Pig iron, of which a considerable quantity is shipped, is sent both coastwise and abroad. Alabaster, building stone, lime and pottery ware are also occasionally shipped.

Amongst the leading imports are West Indian, American and Baltic produce, both grain and timber.

Amongst the principal manufactures of the town are bricks, tiles and sewage pipes, earthenware, cabinet, ware and spun tobacco. There are also engineering works and iron foundries, a tannery, steam floor mills, steam saw mills, breweries, coke ovens, cement and alabaster works and quarries of red sandstone.

The Whitehaven and West Cumberland Infirmary is in Howgill street; a dispensary has existed in the town since 1783 and a house of recovery since 1819, but the infirmary was only established in 1830; in 1857 it was enlarged by the addition of a new wing, erected at a cost of over £6,000, defrayed by the late Baroness de Sternberg, of Acrewalls, who also endowed the chaplaincy for ever; there are 50 beds; during 1895 there were 228 inpatients and 1,878 out-patients.

The Whitehaven Orphan and Girls’ Home, in Granby place, was established about 1860, and is supported by voluntary contributions, and governed by a committee of ladies; the object of the institution is to befriend destitute girls, especially orphans, by maintaining them for two years free of charge and fitting them for domestic service; the age of admission is from 14 to 17; the institution is available for 14 girls.

Charities:-In 1817 Matthew Piper left the sum of £1,000, the interest of which is distributed in soup to the poor during the winter months. Gale’s charity consists of £200, which was laid out in building small tenements on land belonging to the benefice; the interest, £2 yearly, is distributed in money. Towerson’s charities consist of (1) £500 in securities, and (2) about £150 in securities; two-thirds of the interest is devoted to educational purposes and one-third to the relief of poor widows. Glaister's charity of £5 yearly is derived from the interest on a harbour ticket for £200. Sewell’s charity of £200 in stock realises about £6 for distribution in money. Birkhead’s charity, founded by deed in 1819, consists of £420 in securities, producing £12 per annum; also for distribution in money. Dixon’s charity of £100, bequeathed in 1857, yields £4 5s. yearly interest, secured by the trustees of the town and harbour, and devoted to educational purposes. Pinder's charity of £500, invested in railway stock, realises £20 a year, which is equally divided between 10 widows of sailors. The Murray Memorial fund, founded by deed in 1887, yields £6 15s. yearly, which sum is distributed in money to poor widows in doles of 5s. each.

Whitehaven Castle, one of the seats of the Right Hon. the Earl of Lonsdale, and pleasantly seated near the outskirts of the town, on the road leading to Egremont, is a large and plain quadrangular mansion, surrounded by pleasure-grounds, and occupies the site of the manor-house called the “Flat,” built by Sir John Lowther; the principal part of the present mansion was erected by James, first Earl of Lonsdale. In the entrance hall are two Roman altars, one of which, five feet in height, is said to be the largest discovered in England; the other, erected in honour of the Empress Hadrian, was found at Moresby. The staircase and apartments contain some fine paintings by eminent artists; the grounds of the castle have been opened to the public.

In the year 1566, as appears from a survey then taken, Whitehaven contained only six fishermen’s huts, and a small vessel of 9 tons, called the “Bee”; in 1633 the town contained 9 cottages and in 1642 about 40 houses and a small chapel; in 1685 the port possessed 46 ships with an aggregate capacity of 1,871 tons, the largest, called the “Resolution,” of 94 tons, traded from here to the settlement of Virginia; subsequently the population rose to 11,000 in 1755 and to 16,000 in 1811.

In 1693 the population amounted to 2,272, and in 1715 to nearly double that number; in 1871 the town or borough contained 18,446 inhabitants; in 1891 the population of the borough was 19,236, including 6 officers and 284 inmates in the workhouse and 35 in the infirmary; the population of the ecclesiastical parishes in 1891 was:-Christ Church, 5,188; Holy Trinity, 3,989; St. James, 6,382; and St. Nicholas, 3,896.

The area of the borough is 663 acres of land and 49 acres of water; rateable value, £74,026.

Under the provisions of the “Local Government Act, 1894” (56 and 57 Vict. c. 73), the urban portion of the township of Preston Quarter has been added to Whitehaven.

Petty Sessions are held in the Court house, Scotch street, every Monday & Thursday at 11 a.m. & at Cleator Moor, every alternate Friday, 10.15 a.m.

The following places are included in the petty sessional division:-Arlecdon, Cleator, Drigg, Distington, Egremont, Ennerdale & Kinniside, Gosforth, Haile, Harrington, Hensingham, Irton with Santon, Lamplugh, Lowside Quarter, Moresby, Netherwasdale, Parton, Ponsonby, Preston Quarter, Rottington, St. Bees, St. Bridget’s, St. John’s, Salter & Eskett, Sandwith, Weddicar & Whitehaven.

Westmorland & Cumberland (C Squadron). Capt. & Hon. Major G. G. Kirklinton, commander; Capt. R. Jefferson, second in command; W. W. Rooke & H. Smith, quartermasters; E. Doran, squadron sergeant major.

VOLUNTEERS, 1st Cumberland Volunteer Artillery, No. 1 Company, headquarters, 112 Scotch street.

Volunteer Battahon, Border Regiment (D. Company), head quarters, 20 Catherine street, John Arthur Jackson, captain commanding.

Whitehaven Union, formed 5 Dec. 1838; altered 25 Dec. 1861, & 24 June 1872. The Board of Guardians meet at the Union hall, Scotch street, every Thursday at 11 a.m. The following places are in the union:-Arlecdon & Frizington, St. Bees, St. Bridget’s, Cleator & Cleator Moor, Distington, Egremont, Ennerdale & Kinniside, Gosforth, Haile, Harrington, Hensingham, Saint John’s, Lamplugh, Low Keekle, Lowside Quarter, Moresby, Netherwasdale, Parton, Ponsonby, Preston Quarter, Rottington, Salter & Eskett, Sandwith, Weddicar & Whitehaven. The area of the union is 90,715 acres; rateable value in 1896, £308,414; the population in 1891 was 57,703.

The Union Workhouse, on St. Bees road, built in 1855—6, is a structure of red sandstone & available for 424 persons; it stands on three acres of ground, & is surrounded by a garden of four acres.

PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times of Services
Christ Church, Preston street, Rev. Thomas Scudamore Cunningham, vicar; 11 a.m.& 6.30 p.m.; Wed.7.30 p.m.

Holy Trinity Church, Scotch street, Rev. James Anderson, vicar; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

St. Nicholas Church, Lowther street, Rev. Charles Benjamin Samuel Gillings B.A. vicar; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

St. James’s Church, High street, Rev. Robert Duncan M.A. vicar; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

St. Begh’s(Catholic), Rev. Hubert Gregory Murphy O.S.B, rector, assisted by Rev. Caspar Bruno Kengelbacher O.S.B. & Rev. W. J. Campbell O.S.B.; mass on Sun. evening service; 8, 9.30 & 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily, 7 & 8.30 a.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Quay Street School chapel (Catholic); 10 a.m.; daily, 8 a.m.

Society of Friends, Sand Hill lane; 10 a.m.

Congregational, Scotch street, Rev. Alexander Nairn; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Free Methodist, Catherine street, Rev. Achelaus Uren; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Presbyterian, James street, Rev. Matthew Young; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Primitive Methodist, Richmond terrace. Rev. John Jenkins; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Wesleyan, Lowther street, Rev. Charles Swannell, Rev. Ralph W. G. Hunter & Rev. J. Cannell Harrison; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.

Christian Brethren, Gore’s buildings, High street, hold services in the Liberal hall, at 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7.30 p.m.

Plymouth Brethren, Tangier hall, George street; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Thur. 7.30 p.m.

Sailor's Rest, Strand street, William Henry Preece, missionary, 6.30 p.m.; Mon. Thur. & Sat. at 8 p.m.

Salvation Army, Protestant hall, Duke street.

Seamen’s Bethel, Lowther street; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.

National, Wellington row, erected in 1824, for 330 boys & 330 girls; average attendance, 268 boys & 185 girls.

Infants’, in Queen street, for 183 children; average attendance, 140.

St. Nicholas’ (National), Scotch street, erected in 1846, for 190 boys, 140 girls & 220 infants; average attendance, 172 boys, 136 girls, 200 infants.

Holy Trinity (National) (mixed), Howgill street, erected in 1852, for 575 children; average attendance, 480.

Refuge, James street (mixed), erected in 1852, for 379 children; average attendance, 300.

Earl of Lonsdale's Colliery (mixed), Monkwray, for 497 children; average attendance, 467.

Marine, High street, founded in 1816, by Matthew Piper, a member of the Society of Friends, who endowed it with £2,000 Navy Five per Cent. Annuities, vested in the bands of trustees; it is for the education of 60 boys, resident in the town or neighbourhood of Whitehaven; the school house was built in 1818 by Sir James Lowther bart. 1st Earl of Lonsdale, & opened in 1822.

St. Ann’s (Catholic) (mixed), Coach road, for 450 children; average attendance, 400; The Sisters of Charity of St. Paul are the mistresses.

SS. Gregory & Patrick, Quay street (Catholic) (infants), Quay street, erected in 1889, for 300 children; average attendance, 280; The Sisters of Charity of St. Paul are the mistresses.

Omnibuses to & from all the trains & steam packets from the Black Lion hotel, King street.

To Distington every Thur. & Sat. by Isaac Frears, from the Welsh Arms, ’ Tangier street & John Kirkpatrick, from the 'Turk's Head,' Tangier street.

Kelly's Directory of Cumberland, 1897.


Whitehaven had been small harbour and fishing village from 13th century or earlier. Expansion began in mid-17th century with building of piers by Lowthers 1632-4 and 1679-81 and granting of market charter 1660. By the 1680s it had grown rapidly, expanding from village of c.30 households in early 17th century to a town of over 1,000 inhabitants by 1685, which more than doubled to 2,281 by 1696. Sir John Lowther had laid out grid of streets by 1680s, making Whitehaven the earliest planned new town in post-medieval Britain.

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