Category Archives: coastal heritage

Ask the fellows who cut the peats

  “I just went and asked for a job – I fancied gaan cuttin’ peat. The foreman said, ‘I’ll take you up on the moss’ – and what a walk it was! A big wide open space, peat stacks everywhere. … Continue reading

Posted in bogs and moors, coastal heritage, conservation, industrial heritage, wetlands | Tagged , , ,

Lighthouses of the Upper Solway: a guest post by Captain Chris Puxley

For many years, Captain Chris Puxley was Harbourmaster of the Port of Silloth and  a ship’s pilot, bringing ships up the Solway’s unpredictable channels from Workington. He has always been interested in the Port’s history and has written a book … Continue reading

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Snippets 10: stone stoops

Gateposts don’t normally attract our attention, so it is easy to miss the fact that many of the ‘posts’ supporting field gates on the Solway Plain are not posts at all, but are the traditional red sandstone pillars – known … Continue reading

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The Solway viaduct

The Solway is as smooth as silk, the water slipping in around the embankment that points a stubby finger towards Scotland. We have reached the embankment’s distal end by stepping and teetering along the sloping wall of dressed red sandstone … Continue reading

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The Walls of Parton

‘Are you looking for the old port?’ The man seemed to have appeared from nowhere, yet he was tall and strongly built, white hair sticking up straight, not easy to overlook. ‘Port?’ I was bemused – I’d been poking at … Continue reading

Posted in coal, coastal heritage, fossils, industrial heritage, ports, sandstone, slag-banks, stones | Tagged , , , ,

The eagle and the pine-cone: the story of Sarah Losh and Newton Arlosh church

The newly-restored church of St John the Baptist at Newton Arlosh was consecrated in July 1849: it had previously been a wreck for about 250 years. As John Curwen wrote in 1913 (in a paper that ‘was read on site’), … Continue reading

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Ship’s-keel scaur: but whose keel?

On a warm, calm evening in May, at a low Spring tide, Ronnie Porter led me along the shore at Allonby. As we walked, he showed me the various rocky scaurs and boulders, and he told me their names. Near … Continue reading

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Snippets 5: Angels, salt and shroud-pins

Pat Bull unlocked a peeling black door and showed me into a small brick-walled room. On the plain wooden table which almost filled the space were small polythene bags and boxes, labelled in black feltpen with numbers and letters. At … Continue reading

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Waths: fords and borders

On a very low Spring tide in August, my guide Mark Messenger and I crossed and re-crossed the Solway on foot, from England to Scotland and back. We waded across the Firth through the outgoing tide and the flow of … Continue reading

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The design of the Solway: an aerial perspective, part 1

To understand how something works, you need to understand not only its design, but its interconnections and interactions with its surroundings. So it is with the Solway Firth. My ongoing fascination with the Firth’s ‘design’ is why I have recently … Continue reading

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