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9. Visit to the Port of Whitehaven

 

English Lake District, Cumbria (ex Cumberland), England

 Lake District Index

 

March 2010

Fishing boats in Whitehaven Harbour and the 'fish sculpture' across from the Tesco supermarket!

 

Scenes of the harbour, with many yachts, dingies, motorboats etc. and an old cannon and some kind person feeding the geese and pigeons. In the upper left of the middle left picture you can see a white building with a black roof (to the left of the tall stack of the old industrial 'Candlestick Chimney' still venting gases from ancient coal mines). The is the Beacon Museum (see further down).

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The Old Customs House down on the harbour quay.

 

Some of the old warehouses on the quayside.

 

Heading into the town centre from the harbour, the Golden Lion pub on the left. This was an old coaching inn which is now a cafe.

 

The bronze sculpture of sailors (mariners) lies across from the fine building of the Market Hall.

 

Some miscellaneous Georgian buildings, some in better condition than others, but there are many of this period in Cockermouth town e.g. somewhere in the town centre (left) and in a terrace near St James Church (right).

 

The old sandstone warehouse now converted into the RUM STORY heritage centre, appropriately next to THE PUNCHEON pub!

 

The tower of St Nicholas Church, set in St Nicholas Gardens, the 'church' has a most unfortunate history. The old church was built in in 1693 (replacing a small 1642 church as the population and prosperity of Whitehaven grew) and replaced by a new church of red sandstone in 1883. However, the nave and sanctuary burnt down in 1971.

 

Left: The stumps of the pillars of the 1883 nave.

Right: Main parts of the tower have been converted into a cafe but through the glass partition-doors you can see an auxiliary chapel.

 

Left: Some of the stained glass panels in the auxiliary chapel in St Nicholas tower that were salvaged from the fire.

Right: The memorial stature in the surrounding St Nicholas Gardens to the children who died in the Whitehaven coalfields - child labour was common in coal mines, the pits!

 

The stained glass window what was the south transept?

 

St Nicholas Tower and the gardens.

 

The entrance and tower of The Parish Church of St James, Cockermouth. The church was designed by Carlisle Spedding, a mining engineer responsible for the Whitehaven Collieries of Sir James Lowther. The original clock was made by a local blacksmith and installed in 1754 - it was requested and deemed beneficial to the town. It was replaced by a remodelled clock made by Potts & Sons of Leeds in 1943.

 

St James's interior is considered one of the finest in the Georgian style in the country - view from the gallery.

 

Left: The fine Millennium Window honours the work of the bell ringers of St James, Cockermouth.

right: Another of the lovely modern stained glass windows from 1976.

 

Left: Stained glass window from 1970.

Right: A 1st World War memorial window.

 

Looking down to the altar with the gallery pillars supporting the gallery on all around. The ceiling has two roundels depicting the Annunciation (not shown) and, nearest the Altar, the Ascension (shown above).

 

The altar picture is the work of the Italian artist Giulio Cesare Procaccini and portrays "The Transfiguration".

 

The viewing harbour gallery of the Beacon Museum.

 

Views of the harbour from the Beacon viewing harbour gallery.

 

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View of the town from the Beacon viewing gallery with the Old Customs House and quayside buildings that were once warehouses and other commercial buildings.

 

THE BEACON MUSEUM ...

... is packed with artefacts and pictorial and text displays covering the history and development of Whitehaven from prehistoric and Roman times, through the Georgian and Victorian periods until the present day, including its maritime history, the story of coal mining, copper and lead mining, the development of the harbour and the rise and fall of the port etc. etc. Excellent value for money and really good views on a good day (sadly not on this day). There is also a gift shop, bistro cafe and activity room.

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Last look at the harbour as the drizzle sets in! BUT a really interesting town to visit and far from being a regular 'seaside resort'.

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