“An Illustrated History of Maryport” by John Higham published 2023 available from Maryport Post Office and Bookcase Carlisle £15. Also available at Maryport Post Office and The New Bookshop Cockermouth
John Little author of many excellent books based on our local history, highly recommended: Purchase or order from your local bookshop to keep local shops going: https://www.newbookshop.co.uk/
Heroic Maryport – John Little. Maryport lifeboat rescues 1860 – 1950 book or audio from Amazon
MacDonald’s Choice – John Little
This novel is based on a true story and real people. In 1888 a ship was wrecked in the Pacific, 1300 miles from the nearest help. The passengers and crew all survived, marooned on the deserted islands of Palmyra Atoll. In a voyage of intrepid heroism, led by the First Mate, five men set out in an open boat to get assistance. Their leader was a quiet man from Scotland; this is the forgotten story of his journey and how he tried to get home.
An abbreviated and understated account from one of the shipwrecked sailers was published in the 1927 edition of Sea Breezes see this website page https://maryporthistory.uk/sea-breezes-june-july-1927/1887-lost-on-uncharted-reef-hard-times-foster-heroism/
MacDonalds Choice Kindle Edition
The Light Over The Solway – John Little.
In 1915 a working class family in North West England finds itself in a country at war. Three of its members serve as a nurse, a munitionette, and as a soldier. This novels paints a picture of their lives, the impact of the war upon them, and details their experiences with a high degree of historical accuracy to the world they move in.
Based on real people, the storyline mixes fact with fiction to paint an overall picture of what it was like to be in that time and in a particular place.
Their family and the community they live in must face up to challenges they have never faced before and which impact their lives in ways they never imagined.
This novel follows, with accurate period detail, the often sobering experiences and events which befall the various members of the family as they cope with what war throws at them. They are caught as actors in a drama not of their own making, and the overarching question is; will they come through it with their lives?
Light over the Solway Kindle edition
The Testimony of Sal Madge – John Little; Kindle Edition
In nineteenth century Whitehaven lived a woman called Sal Madge. She smoked a pipe, chewed tobacco and held down a job usually done by men. Her upper half was clothed in masculine style but she always wore a skirt, leaving open many questions about her gender, her sexuality and her nature. She was also able to hold her own in fights with men, either in Cumbrian wrestling or in pub brawls.She might have remained in folk memory as a mere curiosity, an eccentric or someone to be thought of as a local character. However in 1887 she did something so rash and brave that it took her into court and engraved her in local history as a working class heroine to be celebrated. This novel is her story as imagined by an author born in her town, and heavily based on available evidence.
Shortlisted in the fiction category of the Lakeland Book of the Year awards 2021.
And many more books from John Little via your local book shop or via Amazon
The best way to experience the special maritime history of Maryport :
Visit Maryport Maritime Museum
The collection is temporarily at the bottom of Senhouse Street on the corner with Curzon Street. One of the model ships is made from … , well what would you do on a sailing ship if you were becalmed and had just eaten the last chicken and had time (and imagination) on your hands. Visit to find out.
The Maritime Museum will soon be housed in the church by the harbour, watch for news of its opening! (this website is independent, not part of, the museum)
Sea Breezes started life in 1919 as the in-house organ of the Liverpool shipping firm, Pacific Steam Navigation Company (PSNC), but soon expanded its focus to include news about commercial shipping in general. Initially, ten editions were produced each year.
This was the case until the late 1930s, when, to further reflect this change in focus, and the awareness that shipping was of considerable interest – not only to seafarers – but many people from all walks of life, the title was changed to Sea Breezes – The Ship Lovers’ Magazine.
Free subscription at https://seabreezes.co.im/
An excellent source of old maps that can be zoomed (Ctrl scroll) into fine detail. The reverse of the maps have descriptions made in that period, though the writer’s interpretation may be inaccurate; eg the Pict holes at Moresby were the hypocausts underfloor heating of Roman remains.
Previously I created some historical websites : Cumbria History – This was Cumbria which is an illustrated oral local history made for Cumbria Archives, and Reivers – In Search of The Border Reivers commissioned by the Scottish Cultural Resources Network (SCRAN – not the local slang for food!)
My personal wanderings Peter UK – Life – The Ultimate Adventure! (peternicholson.uk) are a bit sad because of what cannot be repeated – official cultural visit to Russia nor travel overland through Iran Afghanistan hitching over the Khyber pass and getting lost in the Himalaya ….
A recent development is Cockermouth Info – Cockermouth Heritage which arose from attending Cockermouth Kirkgate Heritage Group. Imagine my surprise when Jennings brewery recipes and their register of pugs arrived at the Heritage Groupl Anyone wanting to help with research (hic) get in touch. Also see the explosion at Broughton Moor and watermills and railways and … please help and contribute.
Below are links to source material. If sources want acknowledgement of sources on pages instead of here then please contact me. Many photos were taken during the ThisWasCumbria project and as long as you do not make money from them then please re-use them with an acknowledgement to this, or my other website. I personally do not require recognition except to receive your contribution about our local history for the website.
Peter Nicholson, Dovenby
Photo gallery in each link
Cockermouth Mills https://www.cumbria-industries.org.uk/2018/02/cockermouth-mills/
West Coast Iron and Steel https://www.cumbria-industries.org.uk/2016/03/west-coast-iron-and-steel/
Iron and Steel in Cumbria https://www.cumbria-industries.org.uk/a-z-of-industries/iron-and-steel/
Derwent Iron & Steel Works
Mindat.org is the world’s largest open database of minerals, rocks, meteorites and the localities they come from.
Mindat.org is run by the not-for-profit Hudson Institute of Mineralogy.
Alice Pit, Broughton, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-374617.html
Bertha Pit, Broughton Moor, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-375168.html
Dearham Folly Pit, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-376882.html
Lowther Pit, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-379301.html
Townhead Colliery, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-382232.html
Dearham Lonsdale Pit, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-376883.html
Ellenbank Colliery, Crosscanonby, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-377238.html
Rosegill No.2 Colliery, Crosscanonby, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-381034.html
Allbright Drift & Birkby Colliery, Crosscanonby, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-374621.html
Crosshow Colliery, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-376763.html
Gilcrux Mine, Dearham, Allerdale https://www.mindat.org/loc-4849.html
Dedicated to the preservation and recording of mining history
We are a founder member of the National Association of Mining History Organisations, which acts as a forum for discussion and dissemination of information on all matters of pertinence to its members, with the aim of furthering the study of mining history in all its aspects.
a database of British Collieries. It began in 2003, partly in response to a suggestion by Alison Henesey, then librarian at the Yorkshire Coal Mining Museum, that “it would be useful to have a map which showed where the collieries were”. Ten years later the Northern Mine Research Society made this valuable tool freely available to anyone interested in coal mining history. The mapping underwent a major update in May 2018.
Rail Map online – UK & IE Railways A phenomenal work by an enthusiast who has mapped all railway tracks in UK, including in our area, even the complex Moss Bay and the ropeway of Flimby Woods and track to Broughton Moor and … check it out and zoom in, and click each line to get a link to some further info, or add your own info. Please support this project, I have sent a donation, this is the new way to finance complex volunteer projects.
Cumbrian Railways Association https://cumbrianrailways.org.uk/
Cockermouth Railway https://cumbrianrailways.zenfolio.com/p125857534
Bigrigg and Cleator
Cumbria Railways http://www.cumbria-railways.co.uk/
Allhallows Colliery Signal Box Mealsgate removal and renovation.
1888-1913 map showing railways and field strips with click drag zoom
Screen grab picture title
Rail route crossing the river Derwent the line curves left by Dovenby Hall station then curves right on new road to Broughton then north to Dearham
See also picture title
Rail route Brigham by St Bridgets over Derwent follow hedge up to curve left at Dovenby Hall map NLS
National Library of Scotland online maps to zoom and pan click drag
Amazing Spy overlays historic map on satellite photo
Screen grab picture title
Rail route centre of picture from Dovenby lane end past edge of Dearham towards Bulgill
For more information see
Disused Railways.org an excellent record with detailed information and photos, please upload your own photos to its moderator click for disused railways
Dovenby Lodge railway station Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dovenby_Lodge_railway_station
Papcastle Parish website click for local railway routes, thanks to the researcher and publisher
Cumbrian Railway Association a comprehensive organisation with website information of history and current activities click for cumbrian railways
and the steam rope excavator recovery: http://thiswascumbria.uk/steam-digger-from-the-deep-video/
factory Devils Porridge Museum Annan Sir James front
Please visit https://www.devilsporridge.org.uk/
The following details are displayed courtesy of cumbriacrack.com ***READ IT – IS THE BODY FROM BELOW PAPCASTLE OR ALSO A BODY AT BRIDEKIRK?****
Medieval remains found on site of new United Utilities water pipeline near Bridekirk
Human remains were found by experts digging along the route of West Cumbria’s new United Utilities water pipeline.
Expand the map to see Dovenby listings. See other Heritage Records.
A vision of Britain from 1801 to now. Including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.
A simplified version of the Historic Environment Record is available to search online. Under ‘Select Map’ choose ‘Environment’, then use the interactive map to look up sites at a particular location. By using the ‘Query Map’ button to the left of the map screen and clicking on a symbol, more information about the site will be revealed.
Please note that the Historic Environment Record online only contains the point data for the HER sites, and the name of the site. It does not show the known extents of the sites, or provide a detailed description. The HER online does not contain the details of archaeological events, the Urban Archaeological Database, or Historic England mapping projects, which are available on the Historic England website. The HER online does not contain information on scheduled monuments and listed buildings, which can be obtained from Historic England. The HER online was last updated on 14 July 2022. The sites are located with a precision of 10 metres.
The two main roles of the HER are
Dovenby Hall History
from Environmental Statement (Volume III) Historic 29-8-14 91-150
Page 92 Table 1 Summary of Cartographic Evidence for the Site.
Text Cumberland https://maps.nls.uk/atlas/blaeu-maior/browse/5/page/243
Blaeu Atlas Maior 1662-5, Volume 5
Cvmbria, Vulgo Cumberland
Maps and explanation of Dovenby pele tower in Cumberland in Reiver period of English Scottish border conflicts:
Maps of Dovenby and Bridekirk from Allerdale Local Plan
– see this for limits and policies for development in local villages, but be aware that eventually Cumberland may consider Allerdale to require a united coordinated Plan for the new Cumberland: https://www.allerdale.gov.uk/en/siteallocations/
1611 Cumberland map Speed and Hondius
Cumberland and the ancient citie Carlile described with many memorable antiquities therein found observed
There are many aerial photographs on this website, taken by Simon Ledingham from his gyrocopter. Unfortunately we cannot supply original copies of any of his photos for publication, or prints. You have permission to use the pictures on other websites or leaflets only for non-commercial use, as long as you credit the picture with ‘Simon Ledingham, visitcumbria.com’. Commercial use is not permitted, and commissioned aerial photography is not available. So just enjoy what you see here.
If I have missed anyone out then please contact me at peter in cumbria @ gmail . com without any spaces in the email address.