About & Sources

Thanks & Acknowledgements 

The content of this website comes from many sources, including individuals who kindly allowed their boxes of documents and photos to be digitised and who do not require their names to be added to the items they provided.
Other sources of photos and information are the excellent Facebook history groups.  We all appreciate and thank the coordinators and contributors of our local Facebook resources.  Our memories are our history and Facebook allows those memories to be added with and without a picture, and do not require a complex website like this, so thanks Facebook contributors and well done everyone.
To prove and claim the copyright of a printed photo, which may have multiple copies made over many years, will become uncertain and difficult.  But if someone can prove they have sole copyright and ownership of all rights to the negative and positive prints of a photo and its digital copy, and if they then want to have their named acknowledged after providing their clear evidence of ownership of sole copyright then I will acknowledge that right. Otherwise this non profit voluntary free website offers goodwill and free access to our community’s historic information; keep it coming marras!
Peter Nicholson

Books to find out more:

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 

Visit Maryport Maritime Museum

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/

Sources of information:

NLS = National Library of Scotland

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.

About the author & website

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


Industrial History

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


Keswick Mills


Harrington Harbour




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.

Rail Map online – UK & IE Railways

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/

  • Bolton Loop
  • Brampton Railway
  • Carlisle & Silloth Bay Railway
  • Cockermouth, Keswick & Penrith Railway
  • Corkickle Brake
  • Eden Valley Stainmore Railway
  • Lowca Light Railway Railway
  • Port Carlisle Railway Railway
  • Rowrah & Kelton Fell Railway
  • Solway Junction Railway
  • Cumbria Railways HOME PAGE
  • Personal Stories from Cumbria lost Railways
  • Cumbria Railway Photograph Collection
  • Shildon – A4 Pacifics – The Great Goodbye
  • CRA Field Trip to Broughton Moor RNAD
  • Francis Dalrymple-Hamilton – Silloth Branch – New November 2016
  • Railway Books
  • Model Railway Books
  • Railway DVD and Videos
  • Cleator and Workington Junction Railway
  • Cockermouth and Workington Railway
  • Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith Railway
  • Whitehaven Cleator & Egremont Railway
  • CK&PR Railway Flying along the Track
  • Kelton Fell Flying along the Track
  • Herbert Norman Stubbs
  • Corkickle Brake New Photos
  • John William Walton
  • Alan Dick – Eden Valley railway

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

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



See http://thiswascumbria.uk/explosion-at-broughton-moor-ww2/  and http://thiswascumbria.uk/explosion-at-broughton-moor-munitions-video/


This Was Cumbria


and the steam rope excavator recovery: http://thiswascumbria.uk/steam-digger-from-the-deep-video/

Threlkeld Quarry website


factory Devils Porridge Museum Annan Sir James front

Please visit https://www.devilsporridge.org.uk/




Dovenby Village and Bridekirk Parish




Dovenby Free Hospital


St Bridget Church information:



Bridekirk Dovenby Cockermouth Medieval Finds

The following details are displayed courtesy of cumbriacrack.com ***READ IT – IS THE BODY FROM BELOW PAPCASTLE OR ALSO A BODY AT BRIDEKIRK?****

Photos  https://www.bridekirkparish.org.uk/bridekirk-medieval-finds

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.



Listed Buildings in Dovenby Bridekirk

Expand the map to see Dovenby listings.  See other Heritage Records.



Dovenby Hall History on M-Sport website



A Vision of Britain Through Time

A vision of Britain from 1801 to now. Including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.



References and acknowledgements:

Historic Environment Record HER records online

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.



Historic Environment Record


The two main roles of the HER are

  • To inform commercial developers and local planning authorities so that local and national planning policies may be implemented to protect the historic environment.
  • To increase awareness and promote enjoyment of the historic environment through research conducted by members of the public, academics and students, landowners, clubs, societies and developers. The HER was originally set up as a planning tool in 1985 (then named the Sites and Monuments Record). It has been continually added to and enhanced since, using a variety of primary and secondary sources as and when more information has come to light. The records vary in detail, accuracy and quality, therefore, and should not be seen as representative of the definitive archaeological resource for the county.



Historic Maps and plans and some aerial photos:

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.

Cumberland 1662


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:


See also

http://reivers.info/category/maps/ and other parts of http://reivers.info

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



Photographs by Simon Ledingham acknowledgement

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.

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