ls a parish of about 2,889 acres in Derwent ward, and petty sessional division; and the poor law union and county court district of Cockermouth containing the town of Maryport, and the township of Ellenborough and Ewanrigg.
Nether Hall, on the Banks of the Ellen, has long been the residence of the Senhouses, and is said to have formerly been called "Alneborough," or "Ellenborough Hall," being within the manor of Ellenborough, which includes the chapelry of Maryport and the township of Ellenborough.
The urban district of Maryport and the parish of Netherhall are co-extensive. It is divided into three wards, north, south, and east, the last-named consisting of the township of Ellenborough and Ewanrigg, which has its own representation, the number of members allotted to it being six out of the eighteen on the Council. The remaining twelve am equally divided between the north and south wards. Maryport gives name to a deanery comprising sixteen parishes, and to two divisions for the election of a member of the County Council. Although the place is, strictly speaking, but the creation of yesterday, still it has a history, and that doubtless a brilliant one in the far past, as evidences of both a Camp and a Town, dating from a very early period of the Roman occupation, are clearly visible.
The Camp is placed on the summit of a hill projecting seawards, with steep cliffs bordering the sea coast on the west, together with a rapid descent to the river on the east and south sides. It is admirably situated, commanding, as it does, an almost uninterrupted view of the Scotch coast, as well as the surrounding country for miles. Strong naturally, it was made doubly so by the hand of the engineer. It would appear to have comprised an inner vallum, surmounted by a strong wall, and to have been defended by a ditch. Beyond this there was probably a second vallum with its attendant ditch on the south and west. The two lower courses of the wall are still visible near the northern gateway. The length of the camp is 155 yards, and its breadth 150 yards, enclosing an area of nearly 5 acres.
In the time of Hadrian, M.M. Agrippa, "the Admiral of the Roman Fleet," was m command of the station. Hence we may look upon ancient Maryport as the great station of the fleet north of Deva (Cheater), whilst its importance during the building of the Roman Wall cannot be overlooked.
There were four gateways, all of which are easily traceable, that on the north being the most distinct. This gateway was uncovered in 1787, and the entire arch was discovered shortly after. "In the absence of Colonel Senhouse, it was unfortunately destroyed for wall building. Evidently it had been a very elegant structure," and, seeing that that side of the camp is the one least protected by nature, there "may have been a tower at the angle serving the purpose of a guardroom, etc." The stones of the archway were "shaped and dressed, being made to fit close without cement, there being iron stanchions at the end of the corner stones." The ruts made by the chariot wheels are very distinct at the northern gateway. In the camp near the N.W. angle an elegant bath was discovered in 1788. It was 16 feet long, and was surrounded, in all probability, by a paved walk 2 feet wide. Near the centre of the camp is a circular well, having a diameter of 3 feet, and encased with masonry. Some years ago the rubbish it contained was cleared out, and it was found to be of great depth. Unfortunately it has again become filled with rubbish, and the upper courses of stones displaced.
Several roads have run from the Maryport camp, placing it in easy communication with the various stations both on the coast and in the interior.
The first of these passed out of the northern gateway, crossed the four fields to the N.E. of the camp, thence by way of the Vicarage, Crosscanonby, past Allerby, and so on to Old Carlisle and Carlisle (Luguvallum). Distinct traces of it were discovered in April, 1887, in a field along Bank End Lane. Two "cup and ring" marked stones were also found in the same field, and are now in the portico at Netherhall. The lower half of an altar, found September 22rd, 1877, in Crosscanonby churchyard, and now at Netherhall, is inscribed -
. . . AC(ILIAN).
i.e. (erected by) Acilianus (?) Prefect of the 1st Cohort of the Dalmatians. In 1889 the entire course of this road was traced to the Vicarage, Crosscanonby.
The second road apparently left the Eastern gateway and ran across the Netherhall park. It then crossed the Ellen (Alne ?) - the slab bearing the name Rianorix being discovered near the ford - thence through the southern end of the plantation near the railway, and so on past the obelisks, marking its position near Hayborough, joining the main road at the Commercial Inn, Dearham, and thence past Dovenby and Papcastle to Keswick, Ambleside, and so on to Chester (Deva).
Camden speaks of the third road as a "pav'd cawsey " which ran along the coast by way of Allonby, Beckfoot, and Skinburness to Bowness. Hutchinson also refers to the road. Its existence has now however been placed beyond dispute by Mr. Joseph Robinson, late of Maryport, who traced the road from Beckfoot for 400 yards in the direction of Maryport, and 430 yards towards Silloth. At the former place he discovered the site of a large camp. He also rediscovered the stone, mentioned by Hutchinson, and inscribed :
LIA. PRAEF. COH. II. PANNON. FECIT.
This stone is now at Netherhall.
The fourth road ran by the Mote Hill, evidently to Moresby, and so on possibly southward. It appears to have been in part protected by a wall which, Camden says, was built "for the defence of the coast in such places as were most convenient for landing, at what time the Scots from Ireland infested these parts," and of which wall he further says, "continued ruins and broken walls are to bee seene as far as to Elne mouth." During the works connected with the sewerage, this road was cut on the south side of the Ellen at some distance below the surface (April, 1886). It evidently ran along Mandle Street, and so on past Risehow, where some interesting remains were discovered in August, 1880 (see Flimby). Mote Hill, is 160 yards in circumference, and is surrounded by a deep ditch. It has evidently been used for defensive purposes. At least, two Roman coins have been found in it, one being of the time of Constantine; whilst in January, 1886, a beautifully polished celt was brought to light. A bronze statuette of a slave girl, apparently a negress, was discovered in 1869 in the Castle Hill garden.
Some 80 yards from the S.W. corner of the camp is a circular elevation popularly known as the "Pudding Pie Hill" (Pudding Pye Hill in 1742), although at one time known as "The King's Burying Place," from its being the reputed burial place of some Celtic king or leader. Excavations made in 1742 revealed the artificial nature of the mound, but threw no light on the tradition, as neither coins, urns, nor remains of any kind were found save the "bones of a heifer and a colt, together with a few wood ashes." It was apparently a point of vantage in the "Campus Martius " of Glanoventa.
As to the exact date of the foundation of the camp there is no positive evidence; but, as one of the officers named on four of the altars - Marcus Mænius Agrippa - appears to have been a personal friend of Hadrian, it seems clear that there must have been a camp at least as early as A.D. 120. Probably we may not be far wrong in assigning its foundation to Agricola about the year A.D. 79 or 80. There is little positive evidence to show how long it remained in the hands of the Romans, but if the evidence of coins be conclusive, we can safely affirm that it was one of the last of the stations left by them; and, further, that it was almost continuously held during the whole of the Roman occupation is clear, as coins have been found covering nearly the whole period down to the reign of Honorius, the exception being between the years 191 and 244 - (See Coins) - besides, its position gave it such a peculiar advantage as would render its possession a necessity, whilst all antiquarians agree that it was one of the Notitia stations.
Various names have at different times been given to the camp. Amongst them are Glanoventa, Virosidum, Axelodunum, Olenacum, Volantium. It seems still an open question which of these, if any, is the correct name, although it is difficult to escape the conviction that it is Glanoventa.
The Garrison was a strong one, and was composed either of the 1st Cohort of the Spaniards, Bætasians, Dalmatians, or Mauritanians (?). At least two of the Spanish cohorts, represented by altars, seem to have had "a due proportion of cavalry;" whilst in one case we meet with a cohort of Volunteers (?) as part of the garrison. The names of several of the officers are recorded on the altars, e.g. :-
The 16 by Spaniards give the names of six officers, viz., M.M. Agrippa, C.C. Priscus, H. Novellus, L.C. Maximus, L.A. Verianus, M. Censorius (?)
The 3 by Dalmtatians give the names of two officers, P.P. Acilianus, L.C. Vegetus.
The 5 by Baetasians give the name of two officers, T.A. Tutor, U. Titianus.
That by the Mauritanians (?) gives Gaius Cornelius Peregrinus.
It would he difficult - nay, almost impossible - to say when these various cohorts were in garrison. Still, Spaniards appear to have been present about A.D. 120, M.M. Agrippa, whose name appears on four altars, having been a personal friend of Hadrian, who was Emperor A.D. 117-138.
Dalmatians must have been present about A.D. 150, as P.P. Acilianus apparently lived during the reign of Antoninus Pius (A.D. 138-161).
It is not clear when the Baetasians were in garrison, but the letters C.R. on the altars by these cohorts may he reasonably thought to show that they were present before A.D. 212, as is suggested by Dr. Bruce.
The Town, too, must have been of some importance, and, if we may judge from the number of altars and other antiquities discovered, it must have been of no mean dimensions. As might be expected, it was in close proximity to the camp, explorations carried on in April and May, 1880, revealing numerous traces in the fields to the north and north-east of the camp. Camden, speaking in 1599 of the excavations that had then been made, says:- "Old vaults are opened, and many altars, stones with inscriptions, and statues are here gotton out of the ground, which J. Sinous, in whose grounds they are digged up, keepeth charily, and hath placed orderly about his house;" whilst Hutchinson, in 1794, gives a list of 116 articles found here.
During excavations in 1743, "foundations of houses, showing the cement still strong, also plaster painted of a pinkish colour, were discovered." In 1766, the streets were found to be paved with large flagstones, much worn by use; whilst the steps into a vaulted room, previously opened about 1686, were particularly well worn. This was probably the temple of the Deæ Matres, these deities being represented by a small sculptured slab, still in the portico at Netherhall. It has been said that the houses were roofed with Scotch slates, numbers of which were found, several of them having the original pegs still in them. Besides these, "pottery, glass vessels, and even mirrors were discovered;" also "evident marks of the houses having been more than once burnt down and then rebuilt," and this is only what we might expect when we consider the times. In addition, at different times have been discovered broken altars, altars wanting inscriptions, fibulæ, glass, iron, and bronze articles, tiles (one with "Coh. I, Hispa. Inducius fec" on it), Samian and Durobrivian ware; whilst of coarser ware we have specimens of amphoræ and mortaria. To these may be added querns and millstones; in short, as Horsley remarks in 1732, "a perfect magazine of antiquities" is to be seen here.
The following is a list of altars found
previous to 1870:-
The following are the inscriptions as they appear on the various altars
To the same period also belong two slabs and a Legionary Stone. One of the slabs mentioned by Camden (1599) is thus inscribed :-
PRO SA . . . .
i.e., it was erected by P.P. Acilianus, Prefect of the 1st Cohort of the Dalmatians, for the safety of Antoninus Pius. It is badly mutilated.
The other slab has on it a Greek inscription, and was dedicated to Æsculapius by Aulus Egnatius Pastor.
The Legionary stone, found in 1779, is inscribed :-
VEXIL. LEG. II. AVG.
the work commemorated by stone was done by detachments from the 2nd and 20th legion. The latter legion is further commemorated by a fragment on which is the figure of a boar with the letters O R D, also by a stone found in 1880 and inscribed LEG XX.
The great "find," however, was in 1870. On April 13th of that year, whilst ploughing in a field some 300 yards N.E. of the camp, an altar dedicated to Jupiter by Lucius Cammius Maximus, Prefect of the 1st Cohort of the Spaniards, was turned up by the plough. This led to a systematic search, and a series of pits arranged in an oval space some 20 yards in diameter was opened. These pits appear to have been from 4ft. to 6ft. deep, and were paved at the bottom with "cobbles." In each of two pits there were three altars, four others had two each, and three others had one each, whilst other pits had apparently been previously emptied of their contents. In all probability several of the altars found before 1870 were originally in these latter pits.
The altars had been placed in the pits with great care, and in no case was the inscription uppermost. Where more than one altar was in a pit, the first was carefully covered with earth before the second was put in, and so with the third. It is worthy of remark that neither foundations of buildings nor mortar were found near the place.
The altars found then are arranged in the following list in the order of their discovery :-
The whole of these are now in the portico at Nether Hall, the manor house of Maryport.
The following are the inscriptions as given on the altars:-
No. 13 is an elegantly-formed altar, about two feet high, but is without an inscription.
A peculiar triangular-shaped stone, marked with a crescent and a figure resembling the "Broad Arrow" V was found at the same time and in the same field as the above. It has been suggested that the stone is Mithraic.
The inscriptions on the whole of these altars are in a good state of preservation, several of them remarkably so.
Between the years 1870 and 1880, very little was found. Still, in 1873, we have to record the discovery of another slab, in a remarkably good state of preservation, for the safety of Antoninus Pius, by Acilianus. The inscription is:
In 1880, however, another great "find" is to be recorded. Mr. Joseph Robinson, above named, having got the kind permission of Mrs. Senhouse, commenced operations with a willing band of workers in three of the four fields (Borough fields) to the N.E. of the camp. Nor were discoveries long delayed. The military road bearing in the direction of Carlisle was uncovered, and was traced through the four fields, sections showing it to be 21 feet wide. In the first field numerous foundations of houses were found, together with roofing slates (several with the iron pegs still in them), pottery, glass, and bronze articles, also a coin of Faustina.
The most important discovery was made in the second field, viz.: of the foundations of a building - believed to have been a temple - and measuring 46ft. by 25ft. The interior had evidently been flagged, as some 15 flags were still in situ. The walls were from 2ft. 3in. to 2ft. 9in. thick, the lower course being "cobbles" set in clay. The base of an altar was found in situ close to the N.E. wall, whilst near the S.W. corner outside the building was found the upper part of an altar bearing the inscription:
Near to this altar the following coins were found, viz. :- Hadrian, 1; Antoninus Pius, 2; Marcus Aurelius, 2. Some 20 feet from this temple of Jupiter (?) were discovered the foundations of a circular building, having an exterior diameter of 34 feet, with walls 2½ feet thick.
In the same field another altar was found, the inscription, with the exception of the letters ET, having been entirely obliterated by the plough. To these must be added 2 heads, together with a female figure, supposed to have been one of the Deæ Matres.
It was not possible to examine the third field, as it was under cultivation.
The fourth field contained numerous black patches, composed of charcoal, burnt bones and iron nails, also a large number of funeral urns, and last, though not the least important, the now famous so-called "Serpent Stone." On one side of the "pillar," which is about 4 feet high, is a human face, with 2 serpents meeting above the head, and fishes under the chin, a serpent, 3 feet 9 inches long and 2 inches broad, being on the other side of the pillar. Part of a second pillar was found, together with two fragments of a serpent, broader than the one above described. This "pillar " has been described as Phallic, with Mithraic sculptures.
Many relics were also found on the slope of the hill to the W. of the camp, whilst quarrying for stone for the Senhouse Dock. These were chiefly building stones, tiles, and roofing slates; a horse shoe, much corroded, found at a depth of 8 feet from surface; also an altar, bearing an inscription almost unintelligible. The only letters that could be made out are apparently:
I. O. M.
A small household altar, together with a stone bearing the letters LEG XX, also a coin of Vespasian were found at the same place. Thus 1880 has added some 5 or 6 altars in whole or part, so that in all about 40 have been discovered at one time or other. Altogether there have thus been found some 20 altars dedicated to Jupiter - in three cases the Emperor being deified along with Jupiter - two are dedicated to Mars, three to Victory; on two Rome itself is deified; Virtue secures one dedication; whilst one officer, desirous of propitiating the "Unknown god," dedicates to the "Gods and goddesses." The local deities are represented by Seltocenia, Belatucadrus, and the Genius of the place. The dedication on several others is unknown.
Amongst the Coins are several forged denarii of Trajan and Hadrian, cast in lead, and imperfectly made. It has been remarked that "Genuine coin must have been exceedingly scarce among the soldiers of this camp, and their credulity very great, to allow of the circulation of such base imitations." The following is a full list of coins found up to the present year (1899) :-
A fine silver coin was found in 1893 lying on the peat bed, having apparently fallen from the adjacent cliff. It is a "fine denarius of the Roman Republic. It has on one side the head of Rome helmeted, and on the other side Diana in a biga [2-horse chariot] galloping to the races - a crescent on her head. Under the horses are the letters T O D., with a bird perched on the crossbar of the T. The date is uncertain, but it may conjecturally be placed at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C."
Besides all the above there are the following:-
Head of Neptune? (found 1874), and another
to Jupiter. Also 2 Heads found in 1880.
D.M. Luca, lived 20 years.
D.M. Julia Martima, lived 12 years, 3
months, 22 days.
[The above are] All at Netherhall.
IL SER QUIN ANAT GALATIA. DEC. BUIT. GALA . . . . . (V1) XIT. ANN . . . MORITU . . . DESIDER . . PAT) RIS. INT . . . . NON VA . . .
Within the grounds at Netherhall, and close to the river is a smaller camp (?), the ramparts of which are well marked. It has been suggested by one that it was a retreat for the invalid soldiers; but another believes it to have been more immediately connected with the fleet as a kind of depot. It is 40 yards long by 29 yards broad, i.e., about one quarter of an acre in extent.
A long gap separates the Maryport of the past, whatever its name may have been, from the Maryport of the present, still links between the two are not wanting. "The manor of Ellenborough, formerly called Alneburgh, was, at a very early period, possessed by Simon de Sheftling, in whose family it continued till the reign of Edward I (1272-1307), when it was purchased by the Eglesfields. In the reign of Henry VIII (A.D. 1528) a co-heiress of Richard Eglesfield brought it to John Senhouse of Seascales, at which place the ancestors of this ancient family had been settled for several generations."
Camden, writing in 1599, after his visit to Netherhall, says :- "I could not but make an honourable mention of the gentleman I just now spoke of (Mr. J. Senhouse). . . . because he has a great veneration for antiquities (wherein he is well skilled), and with great diligence preserves such inscriptions as these, which by other ignorant people in those parts are presently broke to pieces, and turned to other uses, to the great damage of these studies." The opinion above expressed still applies most singularly to the Netherhall family of the present day, the courtesy of Mr. Senhouse in allowing the inspection of the altars, &c., being proverbial.
As to the precise position of any town, village, or hamlet, if any, no certain data can be given, and it is only when we arrive at the name Ellenfoot that the obscurity clears. This name is referred to by Horsley in 1730, and by a contributor to the Gentleman's Magazine in 1748, who calls it Uln or Elnfoot; whilst in an Act of Parliament 1748, the harbour is described as that of Ellenfoot which then comprised one farm house and outbuildings; but it gave way to its present name, Maryport, about 1756, not after Mary, Queen of Scots, as has been supposed, but after Mary, the wife of the then lord of the manor. This name was confirmed by Act of Parliament, 1791. Pennant, who visited the town in 1774, says - "Maryport is another new erection, the property of H. Senhouse, Esq., and so named by him in honour of his lady."
The first grant of land for building purposes appears to have been made to John Sharpe, and bears date January 31, 1749. On this plot was subsequently built the Queen's Head, rebuilt in 1881-2. In March of the same year William Curry built a house on the opposite side of the road to Sharpe's house (since rebuilt). But even these two houses cannot claim to be the first erected in our modern Maryport. In an Act of Geo. II, 27, c. 6 (i.e., in 1754), a house standing at some short distance from them, and then known as Valentia House, is described as "one farmhouse, with the outhouses thereto belonging, standing, and built near the harbour of Ellenfoot." This farmstead is now the Golden Lion, which was built in 1718. Over one of the windows in a stable is the date 1719, with the
initials being those of the Lord of the Manor and his wife, whilst over another window are the words, "Licensed to Let Post Horses," evidently an allusion to the old coaching days. In 1774, the houses numbered 100; and in 1781, the coals which had at first been brought to the port in panniers on donkeys and "galloways," were loaded in 22 small vessels.
In 1791 the ships, of which there were some 90, averaging about 120 tons each, merely ran into the creek, and were laden as well as it were possible with coal, brought on the backs of pack horses. Lighthouse there was none, a lamp placed by the William Curry above-named, in his shop window, being the only beacon to guide the mariner to port. As times improved, a few planks placed on piles driven into the ground formed pier and quay, whilst the above-named lamp was superseded by one placed on a post. The "business of the harbour was vested solely in the lord of the manor . . . . . and the harbour-master was collector of the dues from the shipping, as well as rates from the town . ." In the year 1833, however, an Act was got placing Maryport under the government of Trustees. The trade having rapidly increased after "the abandonment of the pack-load system of shipping and the substitution of horse and cart," the Trustees felt the necessity of increasing the harbour accommodation. The result was that in 1836 a tidal dock - now the clock basin - was formed, with a swing bridge across the entrance. It had an area of a little over 2 acres.
Ships were first registered at Maryport in 1838, in which year the Custom House and the Old Harbour office in Strand Street were built. The former of these is now used for offices by Messrs. Hine, Bros., Shipping Agents, whilst the latter has been superseded by the Town Hall, in Senhouse Street, built in 1890.
On February 3rd, 1842, the Port was entirely separated from Whitehaven, to which it had been previously subsidiary. In the same year the Bonded Warehouse in Lower Church Street was built. In 1898, the new Custom House in Curzon Street, was built, and the port is now the chief Customs port on the coast.
The Maryport and Carlisle Railway has proved no inconsiderable factor in producing those changes which have been for the welfare of Maryport. Incorporated by Act of Parliament, 1 Victoria c. 3 (1837), from Maryport to Aspatria was opened July 15th, 1840. The first engine, the "Ellen," was floated to Maryport on a raft from Lowca. From Carlisle to Wigton was opened in May, 1844, the whole line being opened May 10th, 1845. Mr. George Stephenson was the consulting engineer. It was originally proposed that the line should be called the "Carlisle and Whitehaven Railway Co.," but this was not entertained. However, an extension to Whitehaven was not long delayed, that portion of the line being opened March 18th, 1847. In 1855, an Act was obtained granting power to double the line between Maryport and Carlisle.
New energy was now infused into the harbour works. In 1846 the lighthouse, now superseded, was erected, and, in the following year, the harbour was greatly improved, the wooden pier being extended after the memorable storm of December 26th, 1852. During this period the harbour revenue was as follows :-
1834 £1,654 17s. 10½
Such an increase necessitated further extensions, and hence, after some preliminary work, it was decided to build what is now the Elizabeth Dock. Begun in 1854, it was opened October 20th, 1857, amidst great rejoicings. Its length is 600 feet, and breadth 240 feet, enclosing an area of nearly 3½ acres. The engineer was Mr. Dees, and the contractor, Mr. Nelson, of Carlisle. The depth of water on the sill at ordinary spring tides is 20 feet, and at neap tides, 14 feet. In 1865 a further attempt at extension was made, Mr. Page, C.E., making a report "on the proposed Harbour of Refuge, New Basin, and Dock." The north side was favoured, but the project came to nothing. The revenue, however, kept on increasing by leaps and bounds, as follows :-
1857 £6,636 5s. 4d.
The Elizabeth Dock, of course was not calculated to cope with this rapidly increasing trade, nor was it suited for the larger class of boats which now came to the port. Hence, a larger dock with accommodation for large ocean going ships, was determined on. Two sites were named, the one on the north, and the other on the south side of the river mouth. Eventually the south side was determined upon, and the first sod was cut by Mrs. Senbouse on February 26th, 1880. The engineers were Sir John Hawkshaw, Son, and Hayter, the contractor being Mr. W.J. Doherty, of Dublin. The work was greatly delayed through the damage done by the great storms of November 23rd and 27th, 1881, when the works were flooded, and the embankment carried away. To provide against future contingencies of a like nature, it became necessary to very materially alter the plans, thus involving a very much larger expenditure than had been originally intended. However, in due course, the new dock was completed and named the Senhouse Dock. It was opened by Mrs. Senhouse on May 27th, 1884. The day was observed as a general holiday, a commemorative medal being issued on the occasion. It may he worthy of remark that the first vessel to enter the dock was the s.s. Alne Holme, owned by the Messrs. Hine Bros. The length of the dock is 850 feet, and its breadth 300 feet, hence it has an area of nearly 6 acres. The depth of water on the sill at ordinary spring tides is 26 feet, and at neap tides 19 feet.
That the promoters were fully justified in the erection of this new dock is clear when we consider the large increase that has taken place in the revenue since 1883. Thus:-
As showing the capacity of the Dock, it is worthy of remark that in 1886 the two largest vessels leaving carried 3,793 and 3,802 tons respectively, whilst in 1898 the largest was 5,000 tons. From 1755-1867 the export of coal was as follows :-
During the same period the chief Exports
have been :-
In addition, also, Stone, Lime, Bar, Bolt, and Cast Iron, and General Merchandise were amongst the exports.
The total amount of the imports and exports during this period was :-
The total money value of the Dock Works in 1899 was £314,696, the various Bonds being in five classes, the respective holdings being :- 1, £54,155; 2, £1,950; 3, £125,870; 4, £84,600; 5, £48,121.
A few words are necessary with regard to the manufactures of Maryport, past and present.
The manufacture of glass was carried on behind the offices of Messrs. Hine Bros., shipbrokers; that of salt, at Saltpans; of cotton, in what is now Messrs. Carr's Flour Mill; of paper, at Paper Mill Green; and of lead pencils, at Ellengrove. All these are now of the past.
A few remarks are, however, necessary with regard to iron, the oldest of the manufactures of Maryport. A company was formed, and a lease granted in 1752 for a term of 50 years of land in close proximity to Mote Hill. The said lease was "granted to James Postlethwaite, of Cartmel; William Lewthwaite, of Kirkby Hall; William Postlethwaite, of Kirkby; Thomas Hartley, John Gale, Edward Tubman, and Edmund Gibson, all of Whitehaven; of buildings, quarries, and land on which to erect furnaces and forges, with power to deepen the river Ellen between the works and the harbour . . . . The works, in 1784, comprised a blast furnace some 36 feet high, or, to the top of the chimney, of 43 feet. It stands on a base 30 feet square . . . . . The present inside diameter of the bottom is 8 feet; and at 7 feet from the bottom, the diameter at the bosh is 12 feet 6 inch." There were besides "three large coal houses, which will contain charcoal or coke sufficient for a year's blast; three commodious houses for the storing of iron ores; three dwelling-houses for workmen; a large and convenient casting house, with a very good furnace, by which the foundry branch may be carried on to the greatest extent; seventeen ovens for charring coals, built on an improved plan, and which make a cinder superior to any other method; and a neat well-built dwelling-house, most agreeably situated, and very convenient for the works." Such was the inventory. The iron ore for use at this furnace is stated to have been brought across Broughton Moor on pack horses, whilst, in 1781, small quantities were imported from Whitehaven and Ulverstone, and returned to those places as pig iron; whilst a quantity was brought from Palnackie, Kirkcudbright, in a very small vessel, which discharged its cargo close to the works. About 1863, a "pig," made here, was found with the initials H.S. and the date 1769; whilst in May, 1895, two others were found, one of which was dated 1755. All are now preserved at Netherhall. The work "was occasionally stopped for want of water to turn the wheel which worked the blast cylinders; indeed, the ultimate failure of the enterprise was doubtless occasioned by this uncertainty of the water supply." At any rate in November, 1783, Mr. John Barnes, in a letter to Mr. Senhouse, said it was the wish of the Furnace Company to sell the lease on account of the embarrassed state of the concern. The final settlement was made in January, 1784, Mr. Senhouse taking over the concern at a valuation. It is not very clear whether the work was continued after this date.
The Maryport Hæmatite Iron Co., formed in 1868, had six furnaces, but suspended work in 1882. The Solway Iron Co., formed in 1870, had four furnaces, but suspended work in 1894. Messrs. Cammell's, however, took up the work in the latter yard, and at present (1899) are doing a brisk business in pig iron, etc. There seems to be a prospect of a great revival of the iron trade in this district at no distant date.
Shipbuilding, some years ago, gave employment to a large number of hands, and the shipyards of Wood, Ritson, Peat & Middleton, turned out a great number of wood-built ships of a superior class. Three of these yards are now closed. Messrs. Ritson, however, introduced the making of a large class of iron ships, and are now (1899) making arrangements for a large extension of their business. Most of their ships are launched on the almost unique broadside plan.
Flour, iron founding, sail making, tanning and brewing occupy a fair share of attention. Messrs. Carr have lately rebuilt, and largely extended their premises, - the old cotton factory, - whilst the same remark applies to the tannery, which has been carried on so successfully by Messrs. Williamson for so many years.
Maryport was first supplied with gas in 1834 by a private company. In 1866, however, the Trustees acquired the power to make gas for the harbour and streets, the older company continuing to supply the houses. Such a dual control could not exist. Negotiations were entered upon, but it was not till 1876 that the Trustees bought out the old company, and now supply the whole of the gas required. During 1882, the production of gas was 16,500,000 cubic feet; whilst in 1898, it amounted to 30,386,000 cubic feet.
Maryport is a station for the Royal Naval Reserve. A new battery was built in one corner of the field in which is the Roman Camp in 1886.
The Mechanics' Institute, founded in 1842, was originally held in a house in Crosby Street, but was transferred to its present home in the Athenæum in 1856. There are now (1899) 259 members, and there are some 2,000 books in the library.
The population has increased steadily, as is
shown by the following table:
PLACES OF WORSHIP.
St. Mary's Church was originally built in 1760, the galleries being added in 1762. It was consecrated by Bishop Littleton, August 4th, 1763. The chancel and transepts were added in 1837, and the tower in 1847. In 1891 the church was rebuilt with the exception of the tower, which, however, underwent considerable alteration. The living is in the gift of H.P. Senhouse, Esq., lord of the manor.
Christ Church, King Street, was built in 1872.
The Catholic Church, Crosby Street, was built in 1844-5, but enlarged in 1881-2 by the addition of a side aisle.
The Baptist Church, in High Street, was built in 1834, and enlarged in 1871. The present church in Station Street was opened in 1891.
The Presbyterian Church, in Crosby Street, was built in 1831, and that in John Street in 1776. In 1888, the two congregations united, and, as a result, the Crosby Street Church was enlarged the same year.
The Furnace Road Chapel was built in 1861.
The Wesleyan Chapel, Back Brow, was built in 1864, in place of one in Well Lane, built in 1806.
The Primitive Methodist Chapel was built in 1839, and rebuilt in 1870.
The Congregational Church, in Lawson Street, was built in 1887.
The Friends' Meeting House.
PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS.
George Street Infants' - Accommodating 158; built 1876.
British School - Accommodating 474. Originally held as a Mixed School, in High Street, 1845 to 1883. This school was used as a Higher Grade School from 1888-97, and now as an Infants' School, with accommodation for 190. The school in North Street (mixed) was built in 1882-3.
Catholic School - Accommodating 355, was built as a Mixed School in 1871, an Infants' Department being added in 1876-7.
ELLENBOROUGH AND EWANRIGG united form one township in the parish of Netherhall, and the urban district of Maryport, represented on the council by six members. Netherton and Grasslot are comprised within its limits. The township forms the basis of a division for the election of a member of the county council, and embraces an area of 818 acres, which are rated at £16,518, and have a gross rental of £19,757. The population numbers about 4,299. The docks described under Maryport are in this township. Mining is the principal employment of the people, the large quantity of coals raised being chiefly used in the neighbouring iron furnaces. Many are also employed in the ironworks. The name was anciently written Alneburgh, and is evidently derived from the river Alne or Elne, which runs close by. Long before Maryport had any existence, Ellenborough was an important town, and played a conspicuous part in the history of this country sixteen or seventeen centuries ago. The Romans formed here one of their great stations or camptowns, as is proved by the vast numbers of Roman altars, coins, and other remains which have been discovered; but by what name it was known to the Imperial legions antiquaries have not yet ascertained with certainty. One writer thinks it is the Olenacum mentioned by Antoninus in his Notitia; another, Virosidum, and Camden, from the wish inscribed on a beautiful altar found here, assumes it to be Volantium. R.S. Ferguson, Esq., of Carlisle, who has devoted years to the study of the antiquities and history of Cumberland, asserts that it is identical with Axeldunum of the Romans, but Mr. J.B. Bailey advances strong reasons to show that the name was Glanoventa.
The Manor, at a very early period was possessed by Simon de Shefthing, in whose family it continued until the reign of Edward I, when it was purchased by the Eglesfields. In the time of Henry VIII, an heiress of this family carried it by marriage to John Senhouse, Esq., of Seascale, where his ancestors had been settled for many generations. A younger son of this John settled at Nether Hall, which is still held by his descendants. It is now the property and residence of H.P. Senhouse, Esq., the lord of the manor. The village is distant about three-quarters of a mile from Maryport. Lord Chief Justice Law derived his title from Ellenborough, the place of his birth.
A Primitive Methodist Chapel was erected here in 1860, with accommodation for 120.
Unerigg, or Ewanrigg, is said to have derived its name from one Ewan, a northern king or chieftain, from whom it passed soon after the Conquest to a family who bore the local name. The Multons next appear in possession, and in 1368, the Lady Margaret de Multon obtained a licence from the bishop to build a chapel within her manor of Ewanrigg. It afterwards became the property of the Thwaites family, and then of the Christians, of Milntown, in the Isle of Man. It is now the property of Mr. Twentyman.
A handsome new church was erected at Netherton, in 1886, at a cost of £6,000. It is in charge of a curate under the vicar of Dearham. There is also a Wesleyan Chapel, with accommodation for 150.
A School, belonging to the denomination of the Church of England, was established in the township in 1866, to accommodate 92. It was enlarged in 1888, 1891, and again in 1896, to meet the demands of the growing district, and now affords room for 325 children. There are also Board Schools for infants at Ellenborough and Netherton. At Alneburgh House, a new hospital for infectious diseases, was erected by the Urban District Council in 1894, to accommodate 30 patients.
Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901
19 June 2015
© Steve Bulman