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Ulverston Cumbria

Church Walk with Hoad Monument
in the distance.

Ulverston prospered further when in 1795 a canal was constructed by John Rennie, connecting the town with the Ulverston channel and Morecambe Bay and so with the Irish Sea. With increased trade came an increase in the size of the town. Between 1801 and 1841 the population doubled. The railway came in 1846 and this, coupled with the increased size of ships (the canal could only cope with vessels of up to 30 tonnes) rendered the canal defunct.

Ultimately the railway led to the demise of Ulverston as a major trading town. Barrow was now connected by rail to the rest of the country and had a much better harbour able to cope with larger ships. Though the halcyon days of trade were over for Ulverston they left an indelible mark on the town: the finest buildings to be seen today were built in that period. Even though new industries moved into the area, notably Glaxo the town is a more peaceful place than it has been in the past.

As you approach Ulverston from the Lake District along the A590, you cannot fail to notice the lighthouse on top of a hill outside the town. This is the Hoad Monument, built in 1850 and dedicated to Sir John Barrow (1764-1848). It also operates as a guide to shipping. Sir John had gone to sea at the age of 16; by the age of 28 he was with the expedition to China with Macartney in 1792. Five years later he went to South Africa, and recorded that he found the regime there brutal and disgusting. In 1804 in recognition of his skill as a seafarer of great experience and of his qualities as a statesman he became Secretary to the Admiralty, a position of great importance, once occupied by Samuel Pepys.In this position he was able to fund expeditions to the Arctic.The Barrow Strait and Barrow Sound are both named after him. He was also a prolific writer.




Copyright EDGE 1997