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Barrow-in-Furness, Historical Account, 1905

Extract from: Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1905

BARROW-IN-FURNESS is a municipal and parliamentary and county borough, sea-port town and parish, 9 miles south-west from Ulverston, about 20 from Lancaster, 91 from Carlisle, 84 from Liverpool, 87 from Manchester and 266 from London, with five stations on the Furness railway, which almost encircles the borough, and is a union in the North Lonsdale division of the county, hundred of Lonsdale, county court district of Ulverston and Barrow, rural deanery of Dalton, archdeaconry of Furness and diocese of Carlisle. The former steam tramway, about 9 miles in length, opened 11th July, 1885, is now worked by electricity and runs through the centre of the town to the suburbs of Boose and Newbarns and to the Docks, but is now (1904) being extended to Walney Ferry. The borough, incorporated 13th June, 1867, is divided into eight wards, each ward returning three councillors: the corporation consists of a mayor, 8 aldermen and 24 councillors. The Local Government Act of 1858 was adopted here October 8, 1867, and various private Acts have given greatly increased powers to the corporation. By an order of the Poor Law Board, dated 1st May, 1871, and confirmed by Act of Parliament in that year, Barrow was constituted a separate parish, taken from that of Dalton. The borough is co-extensive with the parish, and on the 1st March, 1873, it was made a separate petty sessional division, but this was abolished June, 1890, when a separate commission of the peace was granted the borough; there is a borough police force.

Barrow was made a parliamentary borough by the "Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885,_ and returns one member: the municipal and parliamentary boroughs are co-extensive. The island of Walney, separated from the town by a narrow channel, running north and south, is within the limits of the borough. A branch from this channel, formerly running in a south-easterly direction, formed a small island, known as Old Barrow Island, and it is this channel which now forms a portion of the docks.

The Gas and Water Works were purchased by the Corporation from the Furness Gas and Water Company in 1869: the gas works are situated near the docks; the water supply is derived from Poaka and Pennington Becks, 9 miles distant, where there are reservoirs extending over 85 acres, and capable of containing 655,000,000 gallons: there are smaller ones at Ireleth, Dalton and Longreins, which, in addition to supplying Barrow, provide water for other towns and villages in the district, including Askam, Dalton, Ireleth, Lindal, Marton, Piel and Ulverston. The whole of the water supply is filtered.

St. George’s parish was formed October 15, 1861, out of Dalton-in-Furness: the church, erected chiefly at the cost of the Dukes of Devonshire and Bucoleuch, at an expense of £3,000, and consecrated Jan. 4, 1861, is an edifice of Kirkby slate, with native red sandstone dressings, in the Geometric style, from designs by Messrs. Paley and Austin, architects, of Lancaster, and consists of chancel with organ chamber, south or Ramsden chapel, nave, aisles, south porch and a massive embattled western tower: the east and west windows are stained, the former being a memorial to H. W. Schneider esq. and there are two memorial windows to the Rev. Arthur Evanson O’Brien, a former curate: the Ramsden chapel, on the south side of the chancel, was built by Sir James Ramsden, and is assigned to the owners of Abbott’s Wood: all the windows in this chapel are stained, and there are others in other parts of the church: special seats are provided for the Mayor and Corporation: there are 1,060 sittings. The vestry contains a library, provided in 1896, for the use of the clergy of the archdeaconry. The register dates from the year 1861. The living is a vicarage, attached to the archdeaconry of Furness, net yearly value £570 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Carlisle, and held since 1901 by the Ven. Cecil Henry Boutfiower M.A. of Christ Church, Oxford, archdeacon of Furness and examining chaplain to the Bishop of Carlisle.

St. James’ is an ecclesiastical parish formed in August. 1867, out of St. George's; the church, at Hindppol, in the western portion of the parish, is a structure of red brick with stone dressings, in the Early Decorated style, from designs of E. G. Paley esq. architect, of Lancaster, and consists of apsidal chancel, nave, aisles, vestry, with organ chamber above, south porch and a western tower, with spire 150 feet high, containing 8 bells 7 the pulpit and font are of Derbyshire alabaster, relieved with, marble: the organ was formerly in the Chapel Royal, St. James’ the three chancel windows and the west window are stained; there are memorial windows to T. C. Bray esq. father of the Rev Thomas William Bray M A. vicar 1878—86: one placed in 1882 by the men employed at the Haematite Iron and Steel Works to Lord Frederick Cavendish, assassinated in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, 6th May, 1882; and another presented by Mrs. Wadham; in the baptistery is a stained window, erected by the subscriptions of the children of the parish: a wrought iron chance screen was erected in 1890, at a cost, together with alterations to the pulpit, of £180, raised by local subscription: there are sitting for 950 persons. The register dates from the year 1867 The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £305, with residence, in the gift of trustees, and held since 1899 by the Rev. Shmuel Falle M.A. of Balliol College, Oxford, rural dean of Dalton-In-Furness, and surrogate.

In 1877 four eoolesiastioal parishes were formed and named after the four evangelists. The trusteed Devonshire K.G. the Duke of Buccleuch K.G. K T and Victor C. W. Cavendish esq. M.P. of Holker Hall.

St. Matthew's is an ecclesiastical parish, formed December 21, 1877, out of the parishes of Newbarns and Hawcoa and that of St. James': a portion of this parish was, in 1892, added to St Marks: the temporary church, in Harrogate street, erected in 1878 at a cost of £1,300, is of nave, aisles and a turret containing one bell: there are 500 sittings. The register dates from the year 1878. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £286, with residence, in the gift of the trustees, and held since 1878 by the Rev Menby M.A. of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and surrogate.

St. Mark's is an ecclesiastical parish, formed December 31, 1877, out of St. George s. The church, in Rawlinson street, was enlarged in 1887, at a cost of £1,250, and has 1,062 sittings.

The register dates from the year 1878. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £350, with residence, in the gift of the trustees, and held since 1894 by the Rev. Charles Leonara Thornton-Duesbery M.A. of Trinity College, Dublin. The Victoria Hall and Mission room in connection with St. Mark’s was built in 1897 for parochial purposes, at a cost of about £5,000.

St. Luke’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed December 21, 1877, out of the parishes of St. George, Barrow, and Dalton-in-Furness. The temporary church, in Roose road, was erected at a cost of £1,250, and has 600 sittings. The register dates from the year 1878. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the trustees and held since 1892 by the Rev. Edmond Francis Crosse. Boose, a hamlet attached to this ecclesiastical parish, has a temporary church.

St. Luke’s Sunday School and institute was built in 1903 at a cost of £2,000, and is used for parochial purposes and social entertainments; it will hold 800 persons.

St. John’s is an ecclesiastical parish, formed December 21, 1877, out of St. George’s. The temporary church, on Barrow island, was built at a cost of £1,472, and has 520 sittings. The register dates from the year 1878. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £295, with residence, in the gift of the trustees, and held since 1902 by the Rev. Arthur Benjamin Stevens B.A., .L.Th. of Durham University.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church Duke street, erected in 1867 at a cost of £5,500, is an edifice in the Gothic style, from designs by Edward Welby Pugin esq. and consists of apsidal chancel, nave, aisle and north transept: there are nine stained windows, given in part by William Martin Edmonds esq., and E. O’Neil Pearson esq. and has sittings for 600 persons. The Convent of the Sacred Heart of Mary, in Nelson street, is in connection with this church.

St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic church, on Barrow island, is a structure of galvanized iron, built in 1901, and will seat 500.

A Catholic club, under the presidency of the clergy, is attached to the buildings of St. Mary’s Catholic school.

The Presbyterian church, in School street, erected in 1875 at a cost of £5,000, is an edifice of limestone with red freestone facings in the Romanesque style, and will seat 730; adjoining is a lecture hall, erected in 1868.

The United Methodist Free Church, in Allison street, erected in 1894 at a cost of £2,100, has 550 sittings.

The Methodist New Connexion chapel in the Abbey road, built in 1875 at a cost of £10,000, exclusive of site, given by the Duke of Devonshire K.G. is a structure in the Gothic style and will seat 925.

The Wesleyan chapel, in Abbey road, erected in 1902 at a cost of £9,000, is a fine Gothic structure, and consists of chancel, transepts and three galleries.

The Cemetery, between Hawcoat and the loop line from Salthouse to Ormsgill, covers an area of 55 acres and is the property of the Corporation. It was consecrated 9th June, 1873, by the Bishop of Carlisle. There are chapels for members of the Church of England, Catholics and Nonconformists.

The Town Hall and Municipal buildings, in Duke street, erected in 1886—8, consist of a central block with north and south wings, enclosing a spacious court-yard at the back, the whole being constructed mainly of red sandstone in the Gothic style, from designs of Mr. W. H. Lynn R.H.A. of Belfast, at a, cost of £66,980. The principal front includes a fine tower, 170 feet high, containing a clock with four dials, striking the hours and quarters, the lower stage forming the main entrance; the ground floor in the south wing is occupied by the Gas and Water and Bates departments and the Borough Treasurer’s office: on the first floor are the council chamber, committee rooms, reception rooms, and the banqueting hall the Mayor’s parlour, Town Clerk’s and Borough Engineer’s departments: the council lobby has three fine stained memorial windows: the council chamber is a fine room with lofty panelled ceiling, and four traceried windows: the banqueting hall is a spacious apartment with a lofty roof, and has ladies’ and music galleries: the upper portion of the south wing is partly occupied by the offices of the Local Education Authority.

A bronze statue of the late Lord Frederick Cavendish (assassinated in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, May 6, 1882), the work of Air. Bruce Joy, stands in front of the Municipal buildings, Duke street, and was unveiled by Earl Spencer, K.G. on the 30th of June, 1885; it is 10 ft. 6in. in height, and is mounted on a granite pedestal; the cost amounted to about £3,000.

A handsome bronze statue, by Noble, 11 feet in height, on a pedestal of granite, was erected in 1872, “in acknowledgment of the great services rendered by Sir James Ramsden in advancing the interests of the town,” for which he was knighted on the 25th of June in that year: the cost of the statue amounted to £2,944, and it was unveiled by the Duke of Devonshire K.G. on the 21st May, 1872: on two sides of the pedestal are bronze bas-reliefs representing Barrow in 1846 and in 1871: the total height is 25ft.

A bronze statue of the late H. W. Schneider, by Percy Wood, has been erected at the corner of Michaelson road and Duke street.

The Post Office, in Duke street and Michaelson road, is of red brick and was erected in 1891. The adjoining Government buildings, erected in 1903, contain the offices of the Board of Trade, Mercantile Marine, Customs, Surveyor of Taxes and County Court.

At the eastern end of the Strand are the general offices, head-quarters and works of the Furness Railway company: in connection with these works is an institute, with a library and games and reading rooms for the workmen; Mr. Thomas Clarkson, secretary: there is also a lecture hall, seating 300 persons. The Barrow Naturalists’ Field Club and Literary and Scientific Association uses a portion of the building as a reading room and museum, and there is a good collection of geological and ornithological specimens &c.; Matthew Stables esq. president.

The old Market and Town Hall, erected in 1866, and afterwards purchased by the Corporation, occupy, with the police offices and fire brigade station, a square between Duke street and Lawson street: the hall was built from designs by Messrs. Paley and Austin, of Lancaster, at a cost of £7,000: a fish market was built in 1903, at a cost of about £1,500: the market days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, the latter being the more important.

The old Town Hall, situated over the old market hall, has been tastefully decorated and is fitted with proscenium and stage and has attached ante-rooms; it is lighted throughout by electricity, and will hold about 900 persons.

The Conservative Club, in the Abbey road, opened September 21, 1899, is a fine structure of red brick with a stone frontage, and comprises a large entrance hall, reading, smoking, billiard and committee rooms, and a secretary’s office. The Queen’s Hall, in the northern wing of the building, has a seating Capacity for over 600 persons. The cost of the building and fittings was about £10,000.

The Barrow County Club, formerly the Royal Yacht Club, in the Abbey road, near Ramsden square, was established about 1868. The Barrow Exchange and Chamber of Commerce occupies rooms on the ground floor.

The Free Libraries Act was adopted here in October, 1881. The library, now contained in the new munioipal buildings, was opened in September, 1882, and comprises a newsroom, with a daily average attendance of 2,040, and a ladies’ reading room, with an attendance of upwards of 100 per day; there are also reference and lending departments, the number of volumes being 24,170.

The Royalty Theatre and Opera House in Cavendish street was rebuilt in 1894 at a cost of £6,000, and will hold about 1,800 persons.

There are also two Music Halls.

The Working Men’s Club and institute, in Abbey road, form a noble pile of buildings in the Italian style, erected in the year 1870 by W. H. Schneider esq. at a cost of £3,450, from designs by Mr. H. A. Darbishire, of London: and contain club-rooms, committee-rooms, kitchen, offices and superintendent’s quarters; the principal front is relieved by Corinthian pilasters and has a clock turret; the club was opened in August, 1870, and is managed by a committee of the members, of whom there are about 600; it is supplied with newspapers and periodicals and has a lending library of 2,500 volumes.

The Ramsden Hall, Abbey road, adjoining the Working Men’s Club, presented to the Corporation by Sir James Ramsden, on the day his statue was unveiled, is a building in the Italian style, erected in 1871 at a cost of nearly £3,000; it is now under the control of the Corporation, and is used for the purposes of the Technical .School.

The Technical School, in Abbey road, is a handsome terra cotta building, erected by the Barrow County Council from the designs of Messrs. Woodhouse, Willoughby and Co. of Manchester, and was formally opened by H.R.H, the Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, in August, 1903. Laboratories ore provided for experimental work in engineering, metallurgy, chemistry and physics. Day classes are held for the education of pupil teachers, the course of instruction being such as to give definite preparation for the matriculation examinations of the Universities.

The Psychological Hall, in Dalkeith street, erected in 1893 by the Spiritualist Society, is used for entertainments and public meetings &c.

The Temperance Hall, in Greengate street, built in 1860, at a cost of about £500, is capable of seating 500 persons, and is used for concerts and public meetings.

The Sailors’ Home and Mission, in Michaelson road, Barrow island, was erected about 1882, but new premises are now (1904) being erected in Ramsden Dock road: the Barrow island Reading Room and institute, established in 1880, now has new premises in Trinity street.

The Municipal Fire Brigade is well organised, and has two steam engines (one of which cost £1,100), a manual engine, two fire escapes, and a hose reel, all of which are kept at the station in Duke street. There are two branch stations on Walney island and others at Hawcoat and Rampside. The Volunteer Fire Brigade of Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim Limited, consisting of two steam engines, and worked by a trained brigade of their own, also acts in cases of necessity, in conjunction with the Municipal Fire Brigade.

There are three companies of rifle volunteers, known as the C, D and E companies of the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Lancaster Regiment.

The Life-boat, now stationed at Piel pier, at Roa island, is well manned, and provided with every appliance for saving life.

The Barrow Haematite iron and Steel works were commenced as iron works in 1859 by Messrs. Schneider, Hannay and Co. and have since then continually increased: in 1866 the works were transferred to the present limited company and have been considerably enlarged, there being now 12 blast furnaces, arranged in a line close to the seashore, with their pig bed and apparatus for hoisting up raw material on the land side, leaving the side nearest the sea for the deposit of slag, on which a series of workshops, stores and accessory buildings have been erected. Connected with and forming part of the work is one of the largest Bessemer steel works in this country. The mines owned and worked by this company throughout the Furness district, some of which yield the richest description of ore, are very extensive, and the whole series is fitted with machinery of great power and are in direct communication with the works, lines of railway having been laid down for that purpose.

The works of Vickers, Sons and Maxim Limited, on Old Barrow island, are of a very extensive character, and form a parallelogram of about 80 acres in extent, with a frontage to Walney channel for building and launching purposes of nearly half a mile, and a frontage of equal width to the Devonshire Dock, where the engineering and finishing of the vessels afloat is carried out; railways are laid down from the various workshops to a massive electric crane, having a radius of 135 feet, and capable of lifting 150 tons. The launching slip is on Walney channel, and the fact of there being fully 30 feet rise in the channel at this point, mates it a peculiarly favourable position for launching purposes, the slipways being sufficiently capacious to allow of the building of from 12 to 15 of the largest merchant vessels or ships of war at one time.

There is also a capacious graving dock at the entrance to the Devonshire Dock; and adjoining the engine works is one of Messrs. Clark and Stanfields patent lifting and depositing docks, capable of lifting vessels up to 2,500 tons register. The works now employ between 9,500 and 10,000 hands, and the highest class of shipping can be built, engined and fully equipped for sea in the shortest possible time. The manufacture of hydraulic gun mountings and shells has also been added.

The Barrow Petroleum Stores, on old Barrow island, have been provided with a view of developing the bulk petroleum trade, tanks having been built, with a total holding capacity of over 20,000 tons of oil. The installation includes all necessary cooperages, barrelling sheds and stacking grounds.

The flax and jute works of the Barrow and Calcutta Jute Co. Limited, in Hindpool road, covering about 14 acres, form a substantial block of buildings, in the Italian style, and are constructed of red brick with terra-cotta and Yorkshire stone dressings: a line of railway connects the works with the docks.

The Kellner-Partington Paper Pulp Co. Limited, at Salthouse, was formed in 1890, for the manufacture of chemical wood pulp; there are at present about 500 hands employed.

The Barrow Steam Corn Mill is a fine building opposite the Dock warehouses.

There are also the engineering works and iron foundries of Messrs. J. Waddington and Sons, J. Briggs, and the trustees of David Caird, and the timber yards and saw mills of Messrs. William Gradwell and Co. Limited, Messrs. Crossfield and Co. and Messrs. William and John Dawson, and the breweries of G. P. Heath and Messrs. K. F. Case and Co. Limited. The Barrow Cement and Flag Co. have erected large works on Devonshire road, and the British Griffin Chilled iron and Steel Co. Limited have others adjoining, for the manufacture of chilled car and wagon wheels.


The North Lonsdale Hospital, in School street, founded in 1866, contains 60 beds; the average number of in-patients is about 500 and of out-patients about 3,000; it is supported by voluntary annual subscriptions, and is managed by a committee, of which Edward Wadham esq. D.L., J.P. is president.

The infectious Diseases Hospital, erected in 1882, and situated on elevated ground about half a mile from the town, is now used solely for small pox cases; it is a building consisting of a central block constructed of brick with a wooden wing on either side, and is capable of accommodating 24 patients; the number of patients treated in 1903 was 13.

The new infectious Diseases Hospital, built at Rakes Moor in 1003, is of galvanized iron and comprises a central administrative block with a wing on each side, making two wards, find having a total capacity for 16 patients.

The Barrow Ladies’ Charity was established by Mrs. Wadham, of Millwood, for the assistance of lying-in women, but has subsequently been extended to the relieving of necessitous cases. During the last year about 39 cases had the loan of maternity bags, and were supplied with groceries and coals for a month; 1,376 eases of sickness were more or less relieved and 43 families were supplied with Christmas dinners.

The Duke of Buccleuch K.G., K.T. who is lord of the manor, Victor Christian William Cavendish esq. M.P. Frederic James Ramsden esq. of Abbots Wood, Colonel William John Atkinson Baldwin, of Dalton-in-Furness, the trustees of William Gradwell esq. and George H. Patterson esq. are the chief landowners.

The soil is both sandy and loamy.

The area of the civil parish and municipal and parliamentary borough is 10,665 acres of land, 358 of water, 974 of tidal water and 10,211 of foreshore; rateable value in 1904, £290,729.


This borough in 1847 was a village of 325 inhabitants: by the census of 1871 it contained 18,991; in 1881 was 47,259; in 1891 51,712 and in 1901 57,586, including 15 officials and 227 patients in the Workhouse and infirmary.

The population of the municipal wards in 1901 was: Central, 10,329; Hawcoat, 5,512; Hindpool, 10,751; Newbarns, 3,082; Eamsden, 10,990; Salthouae, 5,865; Walney, 9,091; Yariside, 1,966.

The population of the ecclesiastical parishes in 1901 was: St. George, 14.878; St. James, 10,751; St. John the Evangelist, 8,166; St. Luke, 5,060; St. Mark, 10,990; St. Matthew, 3,139; St. Paul’s, 2,114; St. Mary the Virgin, Walney, 975; St. Michael, Rtimpside, 436.

The number of electors on the parliamentary register in 1904 was 8,748.

Vergers-St. Georges, Charles Moon: St. James’, W. Matthews; St. Johns, Barrow island, Frederick Long; St. Luke’s, John Froorgett; St. Mark’s, Thomas Thompson; St. Matthews, Richard Whiteman.

Piel Harbour, the entrance of the port of Barrow, is, when the tide has well flowed, the safest and easiest of entry of all the harbours within the limits of Morecambe Bav: it is in the north corner of the bay, and is formed by the south end of the channel which separates Walney island from the mainland: Walney lighthouse, and the ruined castle on Piel island situated within the harbour, are conspicuous objects.

About 2 miles north-east of the Town Hall, within the limits of the borough, are the celebrated ruins of the Cistercian abbey of St. Mary, founded in 1124 by Stephen, Count of Boulogne and Mortein, and subsequently King of England. This monastic house, colonised from the abbey of Savigny in Normandy, was first settled at Tulkeh or Tulketh on the north bank of the Ribble, and near the town of Preston, but in 1127 a grant was obtained of the existing site, and the erection of the new house was begun on the 7th July in that year in a finely-wooded glen called “Bekansgengill,” or “the Valley of Deadly Nightshade.” in the reign of Edward I. the revenues of the abbey were estimated at a sum equivalent to £10.000 of present money, but at its dissolution this income had decreased by about one-half: besides ordinary retainers, the society maintained a considerable military force, a body of which, consisting of 400 horse and 800 foot soldiers, led by Sir Edward Stanley, took part in the battle of Flodden Field, 9 Sept. 1513; they had also ships trading to foreign countries, and occupied themselves to some extent in the working and smelting of iron ore, for the purpose of which furnaces were erected on Walney island. The abbey was formally surrendered April 9, 1537 (28 Henry VIII.), by Roger Pele, the abbot, Brian Garner, the prior, and 28 of the brotherhood, the whole convent then consisting of 33 monks: the actual document, with seals appendant, is preserved at the Record Office: subsequently, all the goods and chattels, farm stock, lead, bells and movable property were sold; most of the church, including the steeple, was pulled down, and in 1544 some of the stone and timber was used in repairing the castle or prison of Dalton. In 1540 the lands and revenues were annexed by Act of Parliament to the Duchy of Lancaster, and remained in the Crown till the reign of James I. but the whole lordship was not granted out till 1662: the site and ruins are now the property of the Duke of Devonshire K.G.; the latter include the greater part of the church, and extending southwards, in continuation of the south transept, the chapter house and refectory, with kitchens and other offices, these forming the eastern side of the cloister court: the vestibule of the great hall, with an adjacent chapel, is still standing: a thick wall, extending from an angle of the vestibule in a north-easterly direction, and pierced in the centre with a wide entrance, unites the former to another large apartment: immediately to the left of the entrance from, Dalton stand the ruins of the abbot’s chapel, the must northern portion of the ancient buildings. The church, externally 306 feet and internally 275 feet in length, consisted of a western tower of Late Perpendicular date, now only about 60 feet high, Late Norman nave of eight bays with aisles, almost wholly gone, transepts and presbytery still remaining, with Early Decorated chapels, five elaborately canopied sedilia and piscina, and a large sacristy: in the north aisle lie two effigies of red sandstone, one of a warrior of the 13th century in ringed mail and surcoat, and the other of a lady of the 14th century: in the presbytery are three mutilated effigies, two of which represent knights of the time of Henry III. or Edward I. with flat-topped cylindrical helmets and large shields: there are also a number of stone coffin lids adorned with floriated crosses, one of which is inscribed, “HIC: IACT: WIL’E’S: GRAINDEORGE”: and another has part of an inscription to Robert Denton, 18th abbot (1217—35). The chapter house of three alleys, 60 by 41 feet, has on its west front five fine and deeply recessed Norman arches, that in the centre opening into an arcaded vestibule: the groming fell in during the nineteenth century: the walls of the refectory-are almost entirely ruinous; the east wall of the guest hall, Early Decorated, remains, and its vestibule and chapel, with angular-headed windows of beautiful design: the abbot’s residence, at a later period the manor house, is now an hotel, and retains some interesting bas-reliefs in marble of SS. John the Baptist and Evangelist, Mary Magdalene anointing the feet of Jesus, the healing of the woman with the issue of blood, and of Adam and Eve: two crowned heads on either side of the great east window of the church are supposed to represent Stephen, the founder, and his queen Matilda.

Contiguous to the Abbey grounds are Abbots Wood, the seat of Frederic James Ramsden J.P. and Millwood, the residence of Edward Wadham esq. D.L., J.P.; both are good house, and command extensive views of some of the most beautiful scenery in the Furness district.



Barrow has within the last 30 years increased rapidly both in wealth and population, and is indebted for the importance it enjoys mainly to its natural position and the richness of the-locality in iron ore, advantages which have been developed by the enterprise and capital of those who have established works-here, the operations of the Furness Railway Company, and the construction of the docks, which belong to the same company, and furnish the greatest facilities for the shipment and landing of goods, from the splendid natural harbour. As a port it was under Lancaster, but was made a separate port in November, 1872; fishing boats to be distinguished by the letters "B. W." Barrow Harbour and Docks, 1903.

Number of vessels entered, from foreign countries and British possessions, with cargoes and in ballast was, 168 of 232,185 tonnage. In the coastwise trade, 2,850 vessels entered of 459,075 tons. The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port was 105 of 19,147 tonnage. Total imports: 632,562 tons, including, timber, 87,500 loads (value £106,701) iron ore, 340,364 tons; groin, 345,763 cwts.; coal, 14,000 tons; petroleum, 1,074,000 gallons; live stock, number of head 48,000. Total exports: 301,000 tons, including pig iron, 91,600 tons; steel rails, 142,000 tons; iron ore, 8,000 tons; ship plates, 7,000 tons.

DOCKS.-The Docks consist of a series called the “Devonshire,” “Buccleuch” and “Ramsden” Docks, all communicating, and comprising upwards of 134 acres, with a depth of water inside of. 24 feet, not including the Cavendish Dock, which is 146 acres in extent, but which is at present only intended to be used as a timber float, with a depth of water inside of 24 feet.

The commodious dock warehouses, abutting on the Devonshire dock, are fitted up with hydraulic cranes of considerable power and for every conceivable purpose.

On the east side of the Devonshire dock there is a grain shed 400 feet long by 60 feet wide and 21 feet in height, with four hydraulics cranes, two of 8 tons and two of 80 cwt. each.

At the north and of the same dock axe six jute warehouses.

The Ramsden dock, situated two miles above Piel our is approached from the Walney channel through an entrances 100. feet wide. The entrance basin is 900 feet lone, with a look of the same length. On the west side of the Ramsden dock is the Anchor Line Basin, with quays long enough to accommodate eight of the largest steamers. Commodious sheds have been erected on the dock quays throughout the whole of their southern length, The depth of water maintained in the Ramiden dock is 24 feet, and there is 6 feet more of depth of water in the lock and basin, which have several crane berths for lightening or loading up heavy draft vessels. From the entrance gates northward, there are quays for the use of the Barrow Steam, Navigation Co.’s vessels, which run daily (except Sundays) between Barrow and Belfast, and during the summer months between Barrow and Douglas, isle of Man; there is also an additional pier for the Furness Railway Co.’s steamers, which ply between Barrow and Morecambe and Fleetwood during the summer months, there being a sufficient depth of water to enable vessels to reach the pier and lie afloat at any state of the tide. On the south side of Ramsden lock is the foreign animals’ wharf, with space for 1,000 head of cattle and attached slaughter-houses, together with a “chill-room,” maintained at a temperature of 33 degrees and capable of receiving 300 carcases of cattle and 100 of sheep.

Petroleum storage has been provided capable of holding 22,500 tons of oil, the premises including all the necessary cooperages, barrelling sheds, stacking grounds etc.

The Buccleuch dock of 31 acres is entered from the Ramsden dock, and also communicates with Devonshire dock, the entrances being SO feet in width. This dock, along the west side, and on a portion of the east side, has a wooden or pile wharf, upon which abut the timber-yard and saw-mills of Messrs. Crossfield and Co. Devonshire dock, of 31 acres, in addition to the abovementioned entrance from Bucoleuch dock, has a tidal basin and an opening into Walney channel 60 feet in width. On the west side of this dock are the works of Messrs. Vickers, Sons and Maxim Limited, and the timber-yard of Messrs. William Gradwell and Co. Limited. There is a spacious graving dock to the north-east of the Devonshire dock basin 500 feet in length, with an entrance 60 feet wide, the depth of water on the sill being 9 feet less than at the Ramsden dock entrance. The pumps for emptying the dock are worked by hydraulic power.

The harbour offices are near the dock-yard in Ramsden Dock road; on the ground floor is the captains’ reading-room, well supplied with daily papers; on the first floor the collecting office, and the harbour master’s office; Capt. James Wards, harbour master and collector; George H. Dewrance, collecting clerk.

Trinity House Pilotage, Harbour Offices, Capt. B. P. Stokes, Capt. James Wards and Thomas Ashburner, sub-commissioners.

Custom House and Mercantile Marine Office, Government buildings, Michaelson road; Edgar Marrable, collector and surveyor; Frederick George Boorman, examining officer and 2nd officer; Robert Perry, examining officer; G. N. Hodder, preventive officer; James Daly, assistant. The amount of customs revenue collected in 1903 was £7,783.


PLACES OF WORSHIP, with times of Services

  • St. George’s Church, Salthouse road, Ven. Archdeacon Cecil Henry Boutflower M.A. vicar; Revs. Charles Ridley Burnett M.A, , James Hugh Powell A.K.C. & Godfrey Scott Smith B.A. curates; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Fri. 7.30 p.m.
  • St. James’, Hindpool, Rev. Samuel Falle M.A. vicar; Revs. John Blaney B.A., Arthur Purchas Dawe M.A. & Prank Deighton Stones M.A. curates; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily, 8 a.m.; Wed. evensong, 7.30 p.m.
  • St. John’s, Barrow island, Rev. Arthur Benjamin Stevens B.A., L.Th. vicar; Rev. Robert George Elton Bowes B.A. & Rev. John Edleston Farrar B.A. curates; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • St. Luke’s, Salthouse road, Rev. Edmond Francis Crosse, vicar; Revs. William Augustus Dutton B.A. & John Webster M.A. curates; 8 & 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; daily, 7 & 10 a.m. & 7.80 p.m.
  • St. Mark’s, Bawlinson street, Rev. Charles L. Thornton-Duesbery M.A. vicar; Rev. Henry Hacking B.A. curate; 10.30 a.m. & 2 & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.,; Fri. 8 p.m.
  • St. Matthew’s, Harrowgate street, Rev. George Kenneth Meaby M.A. vicar; 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • St. Marys, Roman Catholic, Duke street, Revs. John Miller, James O’Brien & Patrick Ryan, priests; mass, 8, 9.30 & 11 a.m.; benediction, 6.30 p.m.; week days, mass, 7.30 & 8 a.m.; Tues. & thurs, evening service, 7.30; holy days, 5, 8 & 9 a.m.; evening service, 7.30 p.m.
  • St. Patrick’s, Roman Catholic Church, Barrow island, Rev. Richard Ryan; 9.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.


  • Presbyterian Church of England (Trinity), School street, Rev. William Hay B.D.; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m.
  • Baptist, Abbey road, Rev. William Walker; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m. 920.
  • Bible Christian, Methodist, Boose road, Rev. Isaac Leaver; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m. 600.
  • Congregational, Hindpool road, Rev. Thos. J. Barker; 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 7.30 p.m. 660.
  • Congregational, Ainslie street, Abbey road (Emmanuel); 10.30 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. 8 p.m. 350.
  • Congregational Mission, Vickerstown, Mr. John Green, missioner; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Catholic Apostolic, Ramsden street, various; 10.15 & 10.45 a.m. & 5.15 & 6 p.m.
  • Gospel Hall, Abbey road, 10.45 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed. Thur. 6 sat. 7.30 p.m.
  • Methodist Free Church, Allison street, Rev. James Christoper Brewitt; 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Wed 8 p.m. 550.
  • Methodist New Connexion, Abbey road, Rev. John W. Sims; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Thur. 7 p.m. 925.

Primitive Methodists: -

  • Rev. John Wm. Lisle (supt.) & Rev. Joseph Grainger. Hartington street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Mon. Wed. & Fri. 7 p.m. 300.
  • Marsh street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 7 & 8 p.m. 400.
  • Forshaw street; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7.30 p.m. 480.

Wesleyan Methodists: -

  • Rev. George Hack (supt.), Rev. George Hopper & Rev. A. Stanley Parker.
  • Abbey road; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m. 750.
  • Hindpool road; 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m. 600.
  • Hartington street; 11 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. Thur. & Fri. 7 p.m. 200.
  • Greengate street, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Tues. 7 p.m. 450.
  • Boose, 10.30 a.m. & 6 p.m.; Wed. 6.30 p.m. 200.
  • Vickerstown 150.

Spiritualists (Psychological Hall), Dalkeith street, 11 a.m. & 6.30 p.m.; Tues. 7.30 p.m.; Wm. Procter, medium.

Salvation Army, Amphitheatre buildings, Duke street.

Synagogue, Abbey road.



Education Committee of 26 members; Alfred Barrow, chairman; Southcote M. S. Townsend, vice-chairman; Wyvill C. Hutchinson, sec. Town hall; Arthur T. Hawcridge, director; attendance officers, J. Eiley, 15 Windsor street; J. Walmsley, 28 Dumfries street; F. Goodall, 2 Telford street; James Burdekin, Fife street & C. Sansom, 85 Holker street.

The Committee meets at the offices, Town hall, on the third Tuesday in each month at 2.35 p.m.

Council Schools

  • Technical School, Abbey road; Robert Pratt, art master; William Mowatt M.A. & Alexander Mowatt M.A. science masters; Frederick H. Smith B.Sc, headmaster, pupil teachers’ department.
  • Higher Grade, Duke street, built in 1889, at a cost of £12,000 (with school of cookery & wood-working shop), for 321 boys & 339 girls; average attendance, 346 boys & 273 girls. This school is, in its upper departments, a secondary school.
  • Holker Street (boys, girls & infants), built in 1875, and enlarged in 1895, for 1,526 children; average attendance, 536 boys; 495 girls & 367 infants.
  • Rawlinson Street (boys’, girls’ & infants’), built in 1875, & enlarged in 1895 for 1,698 children, with laundry & cookery; average attendance, 500 boys, 470 girls & 350 infants.
  • Hawcoat (mixed), for 150 children; average attendance, 140.
  • Barrow island (boys’, girls’ & infants'), built in 1882, with class room added in 1891, at a cost of £1,100, for 1,128 children; average attendance, boys 390, girls 368, infants 365.
  • Roa island (mixed), built in 1893 for 114 children; average attendance, 48.
  • Roose (mixed & infants’), built in 1882, for 516 children; average attendance, 290.
  • Cambridge Street (mixed & infants’), built in 1875, for 688 children; average attendance, mixed 400, infants 250.
  • Thwaite Street, for 412 boys, 361 girls & 358 infants; average attendance, 352 boys, 320 girls & 203 infants.
  • Walney (mixed), for 60 children; average attendance, 65.
  • Oxford Street (mixed & infants’), built in 1883, at a cost of £6,000, for 767 children; average attendance, 425; Jesse Wynn, master; infants’ average attendance, 172.
  • St. Georges (mixed), School street, for 356 children; with infants’ school added in 1895 for 177; average attendance, mixed 304, infants 151.
  • St. James’ (boys’, girls’ & infants’), Blake street, built in 1867, by H. W. Schneider esq. for 800 children; average attendance, boys, 280; girls, 250; infants, 235.
  • St. Mary’s (Catholic), Back Duke street, Dundonald street & Rodney street (boys’, girls’ & infants’), built in 1871, on a site given by Sir James Ramsden, at a cost of nearly £3,000 & enlarged in 1881 at a cost of £1,800, for about 800; average attendance, boys, 297; James Lithgoe Wyer, master; girls, 303; infants, 195; girls & infants in charge of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary.
  • Sacred Heart (Catholic), Lumley street (mixed & infants), built in 1902, for 180 boys & girls & 150 infants; average attendance, 112 boys & girls & 85 infants.
  • St. Patrick’s (Catholic), Barrow island (mixed & infants), built in 1885, for 324 children; average attendance, 261.
  • Dalton road (mixed), for 379 children; average attendance, 245; infants’ department will accomodate 221 children, the average attendance being 153.


  • Public Elementary School, Biggar (mixed), for 60 children; average attendance, 23.
  • Public Elementary School, Vickerstown (mixed & infants), built in 1902, for 648 children; average attendance, 660.
  • Public Elementary School, South Vickerstown (infants), built in 1856 by Mrs. Michaelson, of Barrow, for about 74 children; average attendance, 140.

Workhouse, a building of brick, built in 1879 to hold 800 inmates.



  • Belfast-Barrow Steam Navigation Co. (James Little & Co.; offices, Strand, dispatch a vessel daily, sundays excepted, at or after 2.30 p.m.; returning daily at 8.30 p.m.
  • Douglas-Barrow Steam Navigation Co. (James Little & Co.) dispatch a vessel daily, sundays excepted, from Whitsuntide to end of September, at 2.15 p.m. & from Douglas daily at 8.30 am.
  • Liverpool-James Little & Co. twice weekly each way.
  • Walney island-Steam Ferry, every fifteen minutes from the Barrow side from 5.30 a.m. till midnight.
Barrow-in-Furness Borough


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