Sandwith

United with St. Bees for ecclesiastical purposes, has been constituted a distinct parish for all civil matters. It is comprised within Allerdale-above-Derwent ward and petty sessional division; the county council electoral division of St. Bees; and the poor law union, rural and county court districts of Whitehaven. Within its limits 1,284 acres of ratable land ate embraced, the assessment value of which is 2,674. The population in 1801 was 180; in 1861, 374; in 1881, 371; and at the present time it numbers 339. The parish lies to the north of Rottington, and extends as far as St. Bees Head, which is within its boundaries. Coal exists, and is worked from the Croft Pit Shaft by the Whitehaven Colliery Company. Rottington is included in that part of the manor of St. Bees which was granted to the Governors of the Grammar School. The principal landowners are the Earl of Lonsdale; Isaac Fletcher, Esq., of High House, Frizington; and J.S. Peile, Esq., of Parton. There is in the parish an irregularly-built village of the same name, 2 miles S. of Whitehaven. The village school, now under the management of the St. Bees School Board, was erected in 1804; and on Sunday evenings services are held in it by one of the clergymen from St. Bees. The bold rocky promontory of St. Bees Head forms a prominent landmark from the seaward. Its exact position is 54 31' north latitude and 3 39' west longitude. In days before our island was surrounded with lighthouses, the beacon fire was burnt upon the summit of St. Bees, and a sharp look-out was kept in time of war to discover the approach of any hostile fleet. The first lighthouse erected on the headland was destroyed by fire, and a second was built in 1822. This gave place to a more substantial one, erected in 1866, with a fixed light visible 25 miles. It is now a flashing light, and has telegraphic connections with St. Bees and Whitehaven. The whole mound is one mass of rock, which is quarried to a considerable extent by the St. Bees Head Red Freestone Quarries Co., Ltd., who employ about 60 hands. There is also an alabaster quarry. Fleshwick Bay is a small inlet, between St. Bees and the lighthouse, much frequented in summer by visitors and tourists.


Bulmer's History & Directory Of Cumberland, 1901


30 July 2006

Steve Bulman