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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 54°42′46″N 3°29′33″W / 54.7128°N 3.4926°W / 54.7128; -3.4926

Maryport is located in Cumbria

 Maryport shown within Cumbria
Population 11,275 
OS grid reference NY038363
Parish Maryport
District Allerdale
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town MARYPORT
Postcode district CA15
Dialling code 01900
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Workington
List of places: UK • England • Cumbria

Maryport is a town and civil parish within the Allerdale borough of Cumbria, England, in the historic county of Cumberland. It is located on the A596 road north of Workington, and is the southernmost town on the Solway Firth. Maryport railway station is on the Cumbrian Coast Line. The town is in the parliamentary constituency of Workington.




Roman times

The town was first established as the Roman fort Alauna in around AD 122 as a command and supply base for the coastal defences of Hadrian's Wall at its western extremity. There are substantial remains of the Roman fort, which was the last in a series of forts stretching southwards along the coast from Hadrian's Wall, aimed at preventing the wall being avoided by a crossing of the Solway Firth. Recent geomagnetic surveys have revealed a large Roman town surrounding the fort. A recent archaeological dig discovered evidence of a second, earlier and larger fort next to, and partially under the present remains. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain the town was soon reduced in size and importance.

Georgian times

For many years the town was named Ellenfoot but the name was changed by Humphrey Senhouse as he began developing the town as a port, following the example of Whitehaven. In 1749 an Act of Parliament was passed to allow the creation of the present town. Humphrey Senhouse named the new town after his wife Mary. The Senhouse family were the major landowners in the Maryport area and they were responsible for the development of the town and excavation of its Roman past. It was during this period that the town's lighthouse was built.

Victorian times

The town quickly developed as an industrial centre throughout the 19th century with an iron foundry and coal mines opening. The port also developed as did shipyards, such as Ritson's, which were famous for launching ships broadside into the River Ellen because it was not wide enough to allow ships to be launched the usual way. The Maryport & Carlisle Railway railway to Carlisle was built in the 1840s, with George Stephenson as its engineer, and the line handled heavy coal traffic at the Maryport end. Maryport docks were exporting over 340,000 tons/yr of coal by 1857 - about triple the exports at the end of the 1830s. As a result the railway paid exceedingly good dividends - 9 to 10% - for much of its first 50 years.

Modern times

By the beginning of the 20th century the town was suffering an economic decline. All but one of the shipyards had closed and trade declined because the newly built dock was not wide enough to accommodate new ships. During the 1930s depression, adult unemployment peaked at over 50%.

The town had a brief recovery during World War II but its status as an industrial port was never recovered. The decades after the war saw further industrial decline with many of the primary sources of local employment, such as the coal mines, closing down. The final open-cast mine closed in 2000. Today, after a series of major regeneration projects, prospects for the town are looking better.


The town is a mainly Labour voting area, although far right parties such as the British National Party have tried to make inroads.


Tourism is now the main business in Maryport. There is an aquarium, a maritime museum and a Roman museum. The latter houses numerous Roman artefacts, most notably a series of altars to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which were excavated in the 18th century from the parade ground of the Roman fort.

In July 2008, a new tourism venue, The Wave Centre, opened its doors. The Wave Centre is a theatre and conference facility, an interactive heritage exhibition on the local history of Maryport, the Tourist Information Centre for Maryport, and a gift shop and bistro.

Maryport Golf Club was formed on January 21, 1905 and is now a well established 18 hole course.[1]


The town is a major name on the blues scene, holding a popular 3 day music festival every summer, which has previously attracted names such as Jools Holland, Dionne Warwick, Elkie Brooks, Buddy Guy, Van Morrison and Chuck Berry.

The town has a Scout Group (2nd Maryport) that has been in the town for over 70 years and incorporates most sections within the Scouting Movement. The Group was visited by the Bishop of Carlisle to mark the centenary of Scouting in 2008.

Notable people

Notable past residents of Maryport have included:


  • Biggins, J. A. and Taylor, D. J. A., 2004b, The Roman Fort and Vicus at Maryport: Geophysical Survey, 2000 - 2004, in R. J. A. Wilson and I, Caruana (eds.), Romans on the Solway, CWAAS for the Trustees of the Senhouse Museum, Maryport, 102-133.
  1. ^ [1], Maryport Golf Club Website

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MARYPORT, a market town and seaport in the Cockermouth parliamentary division of Cumberland, England, 25 m. W.S.W. of Carlisle, on the Maryport & Carlisle railway. Pop. of urban district (1901), 11,897. It is irregularly built on the shore of the Irish Sea and on the cliffs above, at the mouth of the river Ellen. Until 1750 there were only a few huts here, the spot being called Ellen foot, but at this time the harbour was built by Humphrey Senhouse. In 1892 Maryport became an independent port with Workington, Whitehaven and Millom subordinate to it. Coal and pig-iron are exported from the mining district inland, and shipbuilding is carried on. There are also rope and sail works, iron-foundries, saw-mills, breweries and tanneries. On the hill north of the town there is a Roman fort which guarded the coast, and many remains of this period have been discovered.

The fort was called Uxellodunum.

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