18 April, 2010

Woodhouse and Kells, Whitehaven, Cumbria

A relaxing visit to Whitehaven in Cumbria. This is a former coaling port that has invested in its quayside where in 1788 Paul Jones failed to capture the town and in his attempt to invade England from America. He was a local man and there are somewhat mixed feelings towards him in the town. The aristocratic developers of Whitehaven were the Earls of Lonsdale the Lowther family, who built the town from 9 cottages to 2000 people, mostly working in coal mines for export to Ireland. This is explained in the Beacon Museum. This museum tells the story of Whitehaven and its people up to the present day and is pleasant with a viewing gallery.
The Church of St Nicholas, patron of fishermen, was burnt down in a fire a few years ago, but a cafe with worship space has arisen out of the ashes with a beautiful garden with a memorial to those who died in the mining industry. The cafe was very pleasant and raises funds for the parish united with St James in the Parish of Whitehaven.

The jetties are now available to stroll on and are pleasant on a fine day of which I had several while there.

BestMate and I stayed at the Mansion, a pleasant hotel in Woodhouse Estate immediately adjacent to Kells, both suburbs of this small town. In Kells there was a mining museum with a working winding engine and one that was awaiting restoration. Most interesting and with its friendly custodian BestMate and I had almost a guided tour. The miners life was hard and alleviated by the 'pleasures' of drink, but also by sport, animals, gardening and other traditional passtimes.
The Church at Kells occupies a central place on the Woodhouse Estate.

All in all a relaxing place to be.

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