Walney Island, 1848
WALNEY, ISLE OF, a chapelry, in the parish of Dalton-in-Furness, union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles (S.W.) from Dalton; containing 921 inhabitants. This district, which is insular only at high water, is ten miles in length, and about one in breadth; and has a lighthouse on its southern extremity, a short distance from which is a rocky islet termed the Pile of Fouldrey, i.e. the island of fowls, where are the venerable ruins of a strong castle. There are several other small isles adjacent, the principal of which is Old Barrow, lying between this and the main land, opposite the small village and port of Barrow. Walney, which is stated to have been once covered with wood, is described by West, in his Antiquities of Furness, as lying on a bed of moss, which is found by digging through a layer of sand and clay, and in which trees have been met with. On the western side of the island were lately discovered a number of guns of various calibre, stone balls of from eight to twelve pounds' weight, balls of hammered iron, old swords, and other articles, supposed to have belonged to a wrecked vessel, of which a tradition has existed for several centuries. One of the guns measured ten feet in length; all were of wrought or hammered iron, and were provided with rings to allow them to be slung with ropes when fired, which shows that gun-carriages were not in use when they were made. The relics all lay imbedded in the sand and clay, at a place only accessible at low water. There are some remarkable intermitting springs of fresh water in the island. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £94; patron, the Vicar of Dalton.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.