Silloth started out as an agricultural settlement, with activities such as salt production and crop cultivation overseen by the monks of nearby Holme Cultram Abbey. The name derives from the term 'sea lathes', the lathes being a type of barn used to store grain. Then in the 19th century the railway arrived in town and this, together with the building of a number of grand hotels, transformed the town into a Victorian seaside resort. In those days the building now occupied by the amusement arcade was the Bathing Establishment, offering a variety of hot and cold baths. Those who preferred to bathe in the sea had bathing machines at their disposal, wooden huts pulled down to the sea by horses, in which the bathers could protect their modesty while changing into their bathing gear before taking the plunge. The branch line that brought about the popularity of the resort is now disused, but the resort remains popular, with its wide, tree-lined streets, the flower-filled expanse called The Green facing across the Solway Firth where numerous events are held, and the sand and shingle beach. Aside from the railway, steamers bound for Liverpool and Dublin used to leave from the 19th century harbour, but these have also since disappeared, leaving the harbour to the pleasure craft that make use of it. Silloth's 18-hole golf course is one of the best in the North, and has hosted two ladies' open championships. The Solway Coast Discovery Centre in Silloth showcases the wildlife, heritage and landscapes of the stretch of coast.
Map of the area.
|Photo by Humphrey Bolton, via Wikimedia Commons|