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Coordinates: 54°29′02″N 3°31′50″W / 54.4840°N 3.5306°W / 54.4840; -3.5306

Egremont
Egremont main street.jpg
Egremont main street
Egremont is located in Cumbria
Egremont

 Egremont shown within Cumbria
Population 16,821 
OS grid reference NY008109
District Copeland
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town EGREMONT
Postcode district CA22
Dialling code 01946
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Copeland
List of places: UK • England • Cumbria

Egremont is a market town in the county of Cumbria, England, five miles south of Whitehaven and on the River Ehen. The town, at the foot of Uldale Valley and Dent Fell, was historically in the county of Cumberland and has a long industrial heritage including dying, weaving and iron ore mining.

The town's layout today is much the same as at the time of Richard de Lucy c.1200 with its wide Main Street opening out into the Market Place. The remains of the Norman castle, built in the 12th century, are situated at the southern end of Main Street near the Market Place.

Egremont was granted a Charter for a market and annual fair by King Henry III in 1266.[1] The resulting annual Crab Fair now hosts the World Gurning Championships.[2]

The modern economy is built on services, media and tourism, together with nuclear industry at Sellafield.

Contents

Economy

Manufacturing industries have declined but service, new media and tourism industries have taken their place.

Egremont’s Florence Mine is the last working deep iron ore mine left in Western Europe and produces ore, products for the cosmetics industry and high quality haematite for jewellery[3]. Florence Mine can be found just south of Egremont town.

A large local employer is the nuclear site at nearby Sellafield. The last few years have seen the running down of the nuclear power industry and the growth of the nuclear decommissioning industry.

Transport

Egremont formerly had a station on the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway but it closed in 1947.

Bus services 6 and X6 link Egremont to Seascale Gosforth and towns south of Egremont, there are many other bus services that link to Whitehaven and Workington (30, 30A, 22 and 22A).

The A595 bypasses Egremont, which gives strong links to Sellafield to the South and to the North Whitehaven and Workington.[4].

Tourism

Egremont has many unique and interesting places for visitors to enjoy including Egremont Castle, Florence Mine, Hartleys Ice cream, Lowes Court Gallery, various walks, Clints Quarry (SSSI), cycle paths.

Community and culture

Egremont has a castle, several churches, two supermarkets, and a market selling a variety of goods held every Friday.

It has had a brass band since 1904. The band aims to promote brass band music in the local area.[5]

The town has one secondary school, West Lakes Academy, and four primary schools, which are Bookwell, Orgill and Thornhill Primary Schools, and St Bridget's Catholic Primary School.[6]

It has an active public and community arts programme called Creative Egremont.[7]

Regional newspapers available include the Cumberland News and the News and Star published by CN Group based in Carlisle. Egremont also has a dedicated town freesheet, published by Egremont & District Labour Party and delivered to thousands of addresses in the town several times a year. The paper is financed by the Copeland Constituency Labour Party[8], and its treasurer is David Southward MBE. [9]

History

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History of the town

Egremont pre-dates the Norman conquest of England. The Danes first established a fort on the site of Egremont castle around the end of the first millennium.

In about 1300, the town was established much as it is seen today, surrounded by agricultural lands. In 1322, Robert Bruce attacked the town with a huge death toll. For the next 100 years or so an uneasy peace followed and the castle fell into ruins.

In 1565, a stone bridge was built over the river Ehen to access the town which was now smaller because of frequent Scottish raids. Little changed for a century, until new stone buildings appeared on the Main Street, probably built with stone from the castle. In 1683 Edward Benn and his heirs were given land with the provision that they rebuild the stone bridge and maintain it for ever.

In 1748, another bridge was built at Briscoe Mill at a cost of £28-15-0d, paid for by John Pearson, a local hatter. Soon Egremont began to service the Port of Whitehaven and in 1830, iron ore was mined over several sites.

Over the next 60 years new schools, churches and the Town Hall were built. New housing estates were also built to accommodate the growing town with many old parts of the town being demolished in 1968.

In 1964 Wyndham School was built, it was the first Comprehensive School to be built in the British Isles. In 1970, there was a large increase in workers moving into the town to work on the new nuclear site.

In 1990, the Egremont by-pass was opened.

Industrial history

In bygone days dyeing and weaving were traditional industries based around the River Ehen.

Iron ore mining and quarrying has been established in Egremont for more than 800 years. Industrial mining of iron ore started around 1830 with many mines being opened, and continues to this day.

Around the early 1600s agricultural lime was mined at Clints quarry with more heavy duty mining being undertaken to supply the iron and ore industry in the mid 1800s, finally ending in 1930. Clints Quarry now a Site of Special Scientific Interest can be found just north of Egremont town.

In 1950 Rowntrees built a chocolate crumb factory near Christie Bridge and the nuclear industry became established at Sellafield. The Rowntrees site has become a new housing estate, York Place, which is located at the northern end of Main Street.

The Sellafield site (now Sellafield Limited) is still operating while undergoing major change.

History of the Barony of Copeland (or Egremont)

When William Rufus extended Norman rule into Cumbria in around 1092[10] control of the area was given to Ivo Taillebois, who was married to Lucy of Bolingbroke, heiress of extensive lands in Lincolnshire. When Ivo died in 1094 this authority passed to Lucy's second husband Roger fitz Gerold de Roumare, who survived only two years, then to her third husband Ranulph de Briquessart (Ranulph le Meschines). On his becoming the Earl of Chester his estates were returned to the Crown towards paying for the earldom. Around 1120, Henry I gave the Barony of Copeland to Ranulph’s brother William le Meschines who made his home at Egremont and began to build the castle which took approximately 150 years to complete. The Barony was inherited by William’s son Ranulph le Meschines. Ranulph having no male heir the Barony passed to his sister Alice who married William Fitzduncan; they had a child who after his death became known as “the Boy of Egremont”, again with no living male heir William Fitzduncan’s estates passed to his three daughters Annabel, Cecily and Alice.

The estates passed down to Annabel’s son Richard de Lucy. Richard’s two daughters married two brothers of the de Multon family, Alice (now called de Morville) married Alan de Multon and Annabel (now called de Morville) married Lambert de Multon. Annabel and Lambert de Multon inherited the Barony of Copeland and again the castle had a lord in residence.

Around 1205, the tale of Grunwilda was told; she was the wife of Richard de Lucy and was killed by a wolf on a hunting trip, this tale is recounted in the poem “The Woeful Chase”. Again leaving no male heir Richard died and the superstition began that no male heir should inherit Egremont castle because of the conduct of the forefathers. Egremont was granted its royal charter by Henry III in 1267.

When the last male Multon died in 1335 one of the co-heiresses married Thomas Lucy, grandson of Thomas Multon. Anthony, the last Lord Lucy, died in 1369, and the lands passed to his brother-in-law Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, staying with the Percy family and its successors ever since.[1] The present lord is John Max Henry Scawen Wyndham, Baron Egremont and Baron Leconfield, who lives in the family home, one of the earliest Percy possessions, Petworth House in West Sussex. The dowager Lady Egremont, Pamela, lives at Cockermouth Castle.

Notable residents

References

External links

  • Visit Egremont - official Egremont information website
  • Virtual Egremont - website of the Egremont and Area Regeneration Partnership with listings, what's on, news, cycling and walking routes and links to Creative Egremont, the town's innovative cultural programme.
  • Egremont at the Open Directory Project

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