Businesses in Cleator Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Cleator

Cleator village street courtesy of Graeme DougalThe village of Cleator, beside the River Ehen, is a companion to Cleator Moor, a mile away. It, too, owes its existence to iron ore. Many rich deposits were worked in the area from the 12th century.

The Industrial Revolution eventually increased the mining to commercial proportions. Iron works were built in nearby Cleator Moor in the 1840's. Mining declined with the depletion of supplies of the high-grade ore in the early 1900's. There is much subsidence in the area as a result of the mining.

Cleator cycle path courtesy of Graeme DougalRail lines were constructed by the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway running from Whitehaven to Cleator with branches to Sellafield and Distington to carry the ore. In 1878 a train viaduct was built across the Keekle River at Cleator. The now-closed railway lines were incorporated into the C2C cycle network.

Water powered flax mills also provided jobs for the village inhabitants.
Agriculture became the leading means of employment after the decline of mining, the common providing good pasture for sheep.

Cleator St Mary's Church exterior courtesy of Graeme DougalE. W. Pugin designed St Mary's Catholic Church in the early 1800's. It has a high narrow tower with an exterior bell. A grotto was added in 1927, and pilgrims visit yearly in September.

St Leonard's Church originated in Norman times and was rebuilt in 1841 with further additions in the early 1900's. The church contains a 17th century font from St Bees. The chancel has a Norman window, while a 15th century one adorns the south side.

Cleator St Leonard's Church exterior and graveyard courtesy of Graeme DougalCleator's main street follows an old Roman road that led from Egremont Castle to Cockermouth. The village was once referred to as Kekleton, named for the Keekle River on its west side.

The Mineral Museum at Cockermouth contains samples of the minerals mined at Cleator Moor.

For historic photos and further details go to Tom Duffy's website www.themoor.ukf.net

Photos courtesy Graeme Dougal

Cleator is located on the A5086 southeast of Whitehaven.

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