Businesses in Bootle Towns and Villages of Cumbria


Bootle village street courtesy of Graeme DougalDoreen Wallace in English Lakeland stated that “to see Bootle is to love it”. Wordsworth's opinion was entirely the opposite. He spent a summer holiday in the village and complained about the noise of the sea and the view of Black Combe:

“Here on the bleakest point of Cumbria's shore
We sojourn stunned by Ocean's ceaseless roar;. . .
Grim neighbour! Huge Black Comb. . .”

In spite of Wordsworth's negative opinion the ancient stone-built farming village has much to recommend it, including its Bootle village street courtesy of Graeme Dougallocation. It's sandwiched between the Cumbrian coast on one side and, on the other, the slopes of Black Combe and Bootle Fell. Just next to the main road of the village is the River Annan.

Edward III granted the village a market charter in 1348. The original market cross has disappeared, and another, in honour of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, sits beside the Bootle monumenton 1348 Market Cross site courtesy of Graeme Dougalchurch. The shaft is mounted on steps, and a shield at the shaft's base displays the arms of the Huddlestons, formerly lords of Millom.

The 13th century village church of St Michael and All Angels, repaired and renovated in 1837 when the north and south transepts were added, still retains its Norman masonry in the nave. A two-bell turret is on the west end over the porch. On the south wall is a brass plate with an effigy of Sir Hugh Askew, knighted in 1547 at the battle of Musselburgh.

Bootle St Michaels and All Saints church exterior courtesy of Graeme DougalAnother church was built in the village in 1780. The 1753 King's Head Hotel remains virtually unchanged. Two schools were built in the early 1800s. The train station is outside the village. There was once a warning beacon on the hill above the village. It was fired if any ships threatening an invasion were seen.

Bootle St Michael and All Saints church interior courtesy of Graeme DougalNorth of the village at Seaton Hall (now a farmhouse) was a Benedictine nunnery, Leakley, founded in the 13th century. It was given to Holme Cultram Abbey, but was closed with the dissolution of the monasteries. Now only a few remains indicate where it sat.

Countryside finds include Stone Age artefacts and a Bronze Age settlement. Bootle Fell is the site of Swinside stone circle. Flint tools and arrowheads and Bootle Evangelical church courtesy of Graeme DougalRoman coins and altars are among the finds at nearby Eskmeals Dunes (now a firing range).

The name Bootle may be from the Anglo Saxon “Bold” or “Botle” meaning a ‘dwelling’. Bootle's legacy of limestone and hedges encouraged wildflowers from honeysuckle to foxgloves to wild roses. It's away from the beaten track so enjoys a less hectic and more rural atmosphere than many Lakeland villages.

Photos courtesy Graeme Dougal

Bootle is on the A595.

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