IT’S easy to think that West Cumbria was founded on coal and steel – and that’s certainly true to some degree.
But there is so much more to the neighborhood and all it takes is a visit to the local museums to show it.
When a consultancy was hired to look at how to market Maryport, for example, the company suggested there was too much to define just one thing.
And it was true!
The people of Maryport mined the coal and exported it from its docks.
But long before coal, there were the Romans. It is believed that they chose the top of Camp Road to build a fort to provide supplies for those building Hadrian’s Wall.
What they left behind is the largest number of altars ever found on a single site in Britain – and many of them can be seen in the city’s Senhouse Roman Museum.
In town is the Maritime Museum which examines the shipbuilders and sailors of Maryport, including the Walker Brothers, credited with founding the Japanese Merchant Navy and Thomas Henry Ismay who bought the White Star Line and launched the ill-fated Titanic .
Fletcher Christian, of Mutiny on the Bounty, visited his cousin John Christian in Maryport several times. He was born in Brigham near Cockermouth.
In Cockermouth we find Wordsworth House, the birthplace and early childhood home of Lake District poet William Wordsworth.
Stepping into this house is like stepping back in time – but a happy time despite what happened later in his little life when his father passed away and his employers refused to pay the money he was given. from.
We don’t have much room left for Workington, the biggest town in the region. The Helena Thompson Museum is usually used to show costumes from different eras which are fascinating to see.
But the city has not forgotten the real hero Henry Bessemer, who created a process that revolutionized the steel industry on which Workington depended so much. The local Wetherspoons are named after him.
So don’t worry if the sun isn’t shining – there’s plenty to see in West Cumbria.