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"The town Whitehaven is a large and important seaport, market town, and municipal and Parliamentary borough on the Irish sea, about three miles to the north of the lofty promontory of St. Bees Head. The town is built around a small creek or inlet, which forms the harbour and is overlooked on the other sides by green hills which rise abruptly from the outskirts of the town. . . In 1633 Whitehaven was still an obscure village of some nine thatched cottages, whose name was scarcely known beyond the precincts of the parish. It was about this period the manor became the property of the Lowthers of Westmorland, and they were not slow to detect the value of the immense beds of coal in the locality." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901]

Whitehaven Parishes


Archives and Libraries


  • History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Manchester, 1884.
  • History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Penrith, 1901.
  • The Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society:
    • Whitehaven: Its Streets, Its Principal Houses and Their Inhabitants, William Jackson, Vol. iii, O.S., 348-380.
    • Christ Church, Vol. xi, O.S.,343.
    • Independent New Chapel. Vol: iii, O.S., 373.
  • The History of the Churches of the Rural Deanery of Whitehaven, Caesar Caine, Whitehaven, 1916. [Includes extensive extracts from the Parochial registers].
  • A Directory of Whitehaven and Vicinity, 1864, Peile and Nicholson, Whitehaven. See below, Directories.
  • Postal Directory for 1882 of Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport and Neighbourhood, Frank Porter, 1882, map.
  • Whitehaven and District Directory, 1956, Kent Services Ltd.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Whitehaven area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • An account of the Church History of Whitehaven transcribed from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901 by Don Noble.

Church Records

  • Church records are available at the Whitehaven and Carlisle offices of the Cumbria Archive Service. There were, and are, many chapels and places of worship whose records have not been deposited with the Archive Service, have been deposited elsewhere, or have not survived Church of England
    For Anglican church records, see the parishes listed individually. In addition, Anglican records are available for: Christ Church (CRO Reference: PR104)

    Nonconformist / Methodist
    Hogarth Mission (Wes)1899-1952  
    Howgill Street (Prim) 1901-1940 
    Kells (United)1904-19341940-1982 
    Kirk Mission (Wes)1905-1964  
    Lowther Street (Wes)1966-1979  
    Michael Street (Wes)  1804-1816

Civil Registration

  • Beginning 1 July 1837, births, deaths and marriages, regardless of religious affiliation, were recorded with Civil Registration Offices in Cumbria, as in the rest of England. Copies of certificates recording these events may be purchased.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Whitehaven which are provided by:



Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Whitehaven has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NX974181 (Lat/Lon: 54.547734, -3.587687), Whitehaven which are provided by:

Probate Records

  • Whitehaven fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Chester and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records are deposited at the Lancashire Record Office.
  • The Province of York covered most of northern England, including Whitehaven, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
  • For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.

[Page originated by Don Noble in 1997 and updated 12 Jun 1999 - Don Noble]