The Barrow Area

Barrow Town Hall View down Duke Street

A Brief History

The Furness peninsula was once controlled by the Cistercian monks of Furness Abbey and Barrow itself was a hamlet in the parish of Dalton - in - Furness. In 1839 Henry Schneider was a young speculator and he came looking for iron ore, just when he was going to give up he made the discovery that would start the rise and growth of Barrow. In 1950 he discovered large quantities of Haematite, and then along with other investors they founded the Furness Railway which opened the first section of track in 1846. The ore was brought to Barrow to be transported by sea. Soon the investors realized that more profit could be made by smelting the iron into steel and so the largest steelworks in the world (at the time) was formed. With steel and Barrows sea location the shipbuilding industry was born. The first ship was launched in 1852 and by the 1890s the shipyard was producing warships for the Royal navy as well as export. The first submarine the Holland 1 was built in Barrow in 1901. Today nuclear powered submarines are the main navy vessels built in the shipyard. A visit to the local Dock Museum is a great day out.

As stated Barrow was a hamlet of Dalton that was the capital of Furness and today Dalton is a town of approximately 11,000 people and is situated between Ulverston and Barrow. It is home to the South Lakes Animal Park and Dalton Castle that was built in the 14th century as a refuge against Scottish raiders for the monks of nearby Furness Abbey. Over the years the castle served both as a prison and a court house. Today it is owned by the national trust. Dalton is the closest major town to Barrow and was the birth place and early home of the famous artist George Romney in the 1700’s. Today the town is bypassed from the main road to and from Barrow and Hartley’s restaurant is well worth a detour.

Approximately eight miles from Barrow is the Market town of Ulverston. The town still has many cobbled streets and has retained an original character of years gone by. The town was granted a Market Charter in 1280 and each Thursday a market was held with the ale houses being allowed to open all day. Prior to the new all day drinking laws this meant that Ulverston was a very popular place on a Thursday with many a person taking the afternoon off work to have a drink in the pubs of Ulverston when all other town pubs were closed . Ulverston holds many festivals and one of the best must be the lantern festival when the local people walk in possession around the town in the evening with all their home made lanterns. In 1796 a canal was built from the town to the sea and is only one mile long, the deepest and widest canal to be constructed. Today the canal is not tidal and a haven for wildlife. A great place to have a stroll on a nice day, you have the bonus of a pint at the pub when you reach the sea. One of the famous people of the town is Stan Laurel from the Laurel and Hardy famous duet. In the town there is a museum dedicated to him.

Around the Furness area are many beautiful local villages that are well worth a visit and as this site develops I hope to write more reports and recommendations to entice you along. If anyone wants to write there own report for the site of where you live please feel free and submit your article via the contact page. The purpose of the site is to give visitors and local people ideas of places to visit and to report on forthcoming and past local events. If you have your own web site or can recommend one for the area I will gladly provide a link just let me know.