|Businesses in Allonby||Towns and Villages of Cumbria|
Allonby sits on the Solway Firth estuary in a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. The Cumbrian Coastal Way passes through the village, and walkers can enjoy many miles of green sea-banks. Once a Smuggler's Route ran through the village.
The five-mile long crescent-shaped bay with its gently sloping shingle and sand beach made this a popular holiday spot for sea bathing in the early 1900's. A suite of hot, cold, and vapour baths, built in 1835, is a Grade Two listed building (now residential accommodations) in the old market square.
The upper classes used one floor as a ballroom. Today's visitors can still enjoy the beach-a cleanliness and safety winner-and also take advantage of windsurfing and Twentyman's famous ice cream, a well-known homemade treat.
Ponies used to roam on the green, grazing the sea banks and roadsides. Beach rides, subject to tides, are still offered, subject to the tides. The Jackson family, whose son, Lenny, was a jockey, founded a riding school in Allonby in 1932. He trained racehorses on the sands.
Farming and fishing-especially for herring-provided employment. Every Wednesday a meat and vegetable market was held in the village. Weaving was an important industry. A stretch of land between the village and beach was useful for laying cloth in the sun. The name of one area, Bleach Green, reflects its use. A Quaker reading room, built 1862, occupies the site of the former weaving sheds.
Ship breaking was another money-making enterprise-ship hulks were brought by tug to the beach to break up. Rather like house demolitions today that save the valuable bits and pieces. One ship took two years to take apart.
A 17th century coaching inn, now the Ship Hotel, is a grade II listed building. Exposed beams and real fireplaces echo the time, in 1857, when Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins stayed here. Dickens and Collins began their journey by train travelling from Carlisle to Hesket Newmarket, eventually ending up at Allonby. At the time, Dickens was involved in publishing a magazine, Household Words, and this trip was to research material for an article, The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices.
Christ Church was built, in 1845, on the site of a 1741 chapel. In 1885 its interior was renewed. The stone building is in a cruciform shape and has a turret with one bell and a stained glass, three-light chancel window. The church contains a marble tablet in tribute to Captain Joseph Huddart, an East India Company employee who journeyed to China and India. He contributed to harbour improvements at Maryport, Whitehaven, Swansea, Dublin, and Boston.
Next to the church was a stone school, built in 1837 on the same site as an older one. The Public News and Reading Room/ library was built in 1862.
Just south of Allonby, Milefortlet 21, a World Heritage Site, was part of the Roman defense system in the area. Nearby are the Saltpans of Cross Canonby, where, for almost 700 years, salt was extracted from seawater. After filtering the water into a lagoon, it was boiled to extract the salt.
Allonby's name is thought to come from the manor of Alanby owned by Alan, the second Lord of Allerdale, who lived here to be close to Holme Cultram Abbey, one of his charitable interests. The manor eventually passed to heirs who adopted the name ‘de Alanby’.
Allonby, a small coastal village on the Solway between Maryport and Silloth, with its back to the Lakeland fells, faces forward to the sea and Galloway. Stunning sunsets over the Solway are only one of its many attractions.
Annual art exhibition in August includes paintings, crafts, and plants.
Ship Hotel, Allonby
Tel. 01900 881017
Fax. 01900 881017
Allonby is located on the B5300 between Maryport and Silloth.
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