WORKINGTON, Cumberland - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"WORKINGTON, a parish, seaport, and market town in the ward of Allerdale-above-Derwent, county Cumberland, 32 miles S.W. of Carlisle, 7 N.E. of Cockermouth, and 5 S.W. of Maryport. It has stations on the Cockermouth and Workington and Whitehaven junction branches of the London and North-Western railway. The parish contains, besides the town of Workington, the townships of Great and Little Clifton, Stainburn, and Winscales. It is bounded on the W. by the Irish Sea, on the S.E. by the river Maron, and on the N. by the Derwent, which is here crossed by a bridge of three arches. In the reign of Henry VIII. it is described by Leland as a "lytel prety fyssher toun", and was the spot where Mary Queen of Scots landed 16th May, 1568, in her flight to England, and was hospitably entertained by Sir Henry Curwen, of Workington Hall. Although ancient and somewhat irregularly built, the town, which extends for nearly a mile along the S. bank of the Derwent, contains many good shops and several spacious streets. There are a corn market in the Upper Town, assembly rooms, theatre, custom-house, commercial bank, savings-bank, dispensary, three-arched bridge, water and gasworks, and public offices in Christian-street, where petty sessions are held weekly on Wednesday. The town and harbour are governed by trustees, and there is a district board of guardians for the poor. It is a subport to Whitehaven, and has a harbour capable of admitting vessels of 400 tons burden, lined with quays which are now undergoing considerable extension. Shipbuilding is extensively carried on in the yards of the Harrington and Workington Company and of Charles Lamport, Esq., and large iron works have recently been erected by the Hermatite Iron Company, for the manufacture of iron and tin plate, for which the abundance of coal and iron ore in the immediate vicinity furnish every facility; a considerable business is also done in connection with the coasting and timber trades, and in the salmon fishery, belonging to the Earl of Lonsdale; but the chief source of employment are the collieries, one of which, known as Chapel Bank, consisting of three mines, was inundated by an irruption of the sea in 1837, when 27 men and boys were drowned. Within the last few years another coal-field has been discovered at Great Clifton. The soil in the neighbourhood is generally fertile, it is a light sand, and in a few places it inclines to moss. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Chester, value £1,000, in the patronage of the Curwen family. The parish church, dedicated to St. Michael, was rebuilt in 1770. There is, besides, the district church of St. John, erected in 1823 by the Church Building Commissioners at a cost of £10,000, with a district assigned to it, 1836. The Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, Independents, Presbyterians, and Primitive Methodists, have chapels. There are National and infant schools. Market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Fairs are held on the Wednesday before Holy Thursday and 18th of October. Henry Curwen, Esq., is lord of the manors of Winscales and Workington, and the Earl of Lonsdale of the manors of Great and Little Clifton and Stainburn, to whom the greater part of the land belongs." "CLOFFOCKS, an extra-parochial place in the ward of Allerdale-above-Derwent, in the county of Cumberland, 1 mile from Workington, its post town. It is situated near the river Derwent." "GREAT CLIFTON, (and Little Clifton) two townships in the parish of Workington, in the county of Cumberland, 3 miles from Workington, its post town, and 6 from Cockermouth. Great Clifton is situated on the S. bank of the Derwent, adjoining Little Clifton, which is likewise watered by a branch of the Derwent. The tithes of the two townships were commuted in 1814." "STAINBURN, a township in the parish of Workington, ward of Allerdale-above-Derwent, county Cumberland, 1 mile E. of Workington. The village, which is inconsiderable, is situated on the river Derwent and on the Cockermouth road. Here was formerly an oratory subordinate to the priory of St. Bee's. The Earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor." "WINSCALES, a township in the parish of Workington, county Cumberland, 2 miles S. of Workington."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]