Businesses in Millom Towns and Villages of Cumbria

Millom

(See also Millom Folk Museum and RAF Millom Museum)

Millom iron mining sculpture by Humphrey BoltonOriginally named Holborn Hill, Millom grew from a small fishing village into a town as a result of the steel industry and the haematite iron ore mining at nearby Hodbarrow, now an R.S.P.B. nature reserve.

More than 300 miners worked the rich deposits discovered in 1868, and mining continued until the 1960's. As the sea encroached on the mines, it was necessary to build a breakwater to protect the workings. Built of sandstone blocks covered with tar (replaced by concrete, clay, and stone in 1900), the seawall was up to 50 feet high in some places. Little remains of the former industry, and the area is now a holiday village offering water sports.

Millom the clock tower market square by Andrew HillFrom the 13th to the 17th centuries fairs and markets were held in Millom's market square. With the mining boom the market square was transformed into a showplace for Victorian architecture. The Clock Tower (now a licensed civil venue and function room), the town hall, and other buildings still serve the residents. An inn dates from 1745.

At the Tourist Information Centre is the Folk Museum. Here there are displays on 20th century Millom poet and resident, Norman Nicholson, who spent his life in the town. Information is provided on the iron and steel industry, and included is a reconstruction of a drift mine, a forge, and a miner's cottage kitchen.Millom folk museum old railway station building by Richie B

A third museum, RAF Millom Museum is located in airfield buildings used in World War II to train aircrew. Photographs and other memorabilia of the time are on display. The old Victorian railway station was converted into a craft centre where local crafts people demonstrate their skills.

On the north edge of the town, Holy Trinity Church, Millom Holy Trinity Church by Andrew Hillconstructed of red sandstone and dating from the 12th century, was restored by the Victorians. In the church are the Huddleston chapel containing family effigies, 14th century windows, and a medieval font. A two-belled turret is an added attraction. An old sundial graces the churchyard. A vicarage once sat by the church but was destroyed by Cromwell, who feared it would be used as a place of refuge.

Millom signal box courtesy John HinsonNext to the church are the ruins of 14th century moated Millom Castle owned by the Huddleston family. A massive 4-storied tower with seven-foot thick walls was added to the west side of the castle in the 15th or 16th century and now serves as part of a farmhouse. A deer park and oak woods once surrounded the castle.

The Huddlestons were Royalists, and Cromwell's troops slighted the castle in 1644. From that time it began to fall into ruins. Today it is mainly the north and east sides that remain. The first Earl of Lonsdale bought the castle in the 18th century when he developed the mining industry of the coast.

Millom sits by the Duddon River Estuary with Black Combe Fell on its doorstep. Between the fells and the sandy beaches it is close to the best of both worlds.

Millom Castle: not open to the public

Photos courtesy of Humphrey Bolton , Andrew Hill , Richie B , John Hinson.

Millom is on the A5093, 5 miles southwest of Broughton-in-Furness.

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