Thursday, 10 October 2013

HAVERIGG AND MILLOM

Haverigg and Millom both come under the civil parish of Millom and both lie on the estuary of the River Duddon.  Haverigg is a small seaside village where cereal crops were evidently grown in Norse times judging from the meaning of the name, which derives from the Norse for 'the hill where oats are grown'.  Nowadays it is known for its safe Blue Flag beaches and its lighthouse.  The lighthouse, which is white with a red base,  is unusual in that it has been restored by a local school whose pupils have been made honorary lighthouse keepers, and the school has an image of the lighthouse as its logo.  Built in 1905 for a sea wall which was put up after the local Hodbarrow mine expanded its extraction into the Irish Sea, it became derelict in the late 1940s when the mine ceased operations, but reopened 99 years later in 2004, complete with a new dome and lantern with a solar-powered light.  Now the lighthouse stands as the last reminder of the area's mining era.  Haverigg has its own Inshore Rescue Station, and nearby is a sculpture by Josefina de Vasconcellos called 'Escape to Light' which is dedicated to all the British Inshore Rescue teams.  Near Haverigg is the Hodbarrow RSPB Nature Reserve on Hodbarrow Lagoon, which at this time of year hosts migrant thrushes and waders and wildfowl which can be observed from a hide.  A walk along the seawall may be rewarded with sightings of seals.

The Victorian town of Millom grew prosperous on the back of the discovery of the iron ore at Hodbarrow.  The industry is commemorated by a statue of a miner, 'The Scutcher', in the town centre which was made from local iron ore dust and resin.  The town's Holy Trinity Church dates from the late Norman age and was built from red  sandstone.  The church windows include one by William Wailes known as the 'fish window' due to its resemblance to a fish bladder, although its actual name is 'The Annunciation'.  This, and a number of other interesting features, make the church well worth a visit.  Next to the church is the ruined Millom Castle with a 4-storey pele tower.  The castle was attacked during the Civil War, and was badly damaged by a cannon in 1648.  The town has a folk museum called the Millom Discovery Centre which includes a reconstruction of a miner's cottage kitchen and a replica of part of the Hodbarrow mine.  There is a website about the town with some interesting old photographs, as well as new ones.

Map of the area.

File:Lighthouse at edge of Hodbarrow lagoon - geograph.org.uk - 268459.jpg
Photo by Simon Pudsey, via Wikimedia Commons

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