Some history on Bowness in the county of Cumberland



1897 Kelly's Directory

Bowness is a township, parish and village, on a promontory overlooking the Solway Firth, with a station an the Solway Junction Railway, which crosses the firth by a viaduct of 192 spans and 1 1-8 of a mile long; it is 12½ miles north-west from Carlisle, and 10 north from Wigton, in the northern division of the county, Cumberland ward and petty sessional division, union and county court district of Wigton, rural deanery of Carlisle North, and archdeaconry and diocese of Carlisle, the pariah is about 9 miles in length from east to west, and 4 in breadth from north to south, and is divided into four townships. In summer, owing to the fine sea bathing which this locality affords, the place is much frequented by visitors. The church of St. Michael is an ancient structure in the Early Norman and Early English Transitional styles, consisting of chancel, nave, north transept, south porch, and a western turret containing 2 bells, one of which is said to have been carried off from Scotland by a marauding party during a border raid : the font, a Norman work, was dug up in a garden adjoining the church in 1848 : the carved pulpit and reading desk, and the rails enclosing the sacrarium, were made from the oak timbers of the old roof : the stained east window, presented in 1891 by Thomas George. Wilson esq. J.P. of Thistlewood, is a memorial to his parents, John Wilson esq. of Longcroft, in this parish, d.1833, and Mary his wife; the church was restored in 1891, and an organ erected, at a cost of about £2,562. There are 300 sittings. The register dates from the year 1642. The living is a rectory, net yearly value, £312,, with 358 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale, and held since 1889 by the Rev. Samuel Lindow, M. A. of Trinity College, Dublin. Here is a Wesleyan Home Mission chapel, built in 1872, and seating 100 persons. Pattinson's charity, which consists of £515 in Consols, now [1896], produces £10 15s. 8d. yearly, and is distributed by the rector and churchwardens for religious education as follows, viz :- Drumburgh Board School, £6 18s. 8d. Bowness Board School, £1 5s. 8d. Bowness Anthorn School, £1 5s. 8d. and Fingland School, £1 5s. 8d. Troutbeck's charity consists of 3 acres of land, now [1896]) producing £12 yearly, which sum is distributed in money to the poor. At Bowness was the western terminal station of the Roman wall; it contained an area of 5½ acres, the greater axis being from east to west, but the exact line of its ramparts can now only be made out with difficulty, although the western boundary is fairly distinct; the northern wall rose above the ridge of land next the shore, and an ancient mound called the "Rampire" marks its eastern end. Horsley regarded this as Tunnocelum, but the Rev. J. Maughan, rector of Bewcastle, for etymological reasons, conjectured it to have been the station Virosidum. An inscribed altar, A.D. 252-4, and a tablet of the 3rd Cohort of the 2nd [Augustan] Legion are built into walls in the town. In April, 1884, Mr. Wills, a farmer, of Bowness, while walking along the road between Bowness and Whitrigg, picked up 22 silver coins, of the reign of Edward I. and Alex. III. of Scotland, supposed to have dropped from a cart, laden with sand and gravel from the sea-beach. The Earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor, and Messrs. Jonas and S. Lindow, of Ehen Hall, Cleator, Cumberland, Mrs. Sanderson and the rector are the principal landowners. The soil in some parts is very fertile; in others moorish and barren; the low and flat grounds have a heavy white marshy soil, whilst the higher parts are chiefly a mixture of reddish clay and gravel; chief crops, wheat, oats, barley and green crop. The area of the parish is 11,171 acres of land, 6 of water, 1,047 of tidal water, and 10,553 of foreshore; rateable value, £8,932. The population of the parish in 1891 was 1,322; the population of the township in 1891 was 524. Parish Clerk, John Wood.

Port Carlisle, 1 mile south-east from Bowness, has a terminal station on a single tram line from Drumburgh station, on the North British railway; passengers are conveyed in a tram car, drawn by horse-power. The trade of this port, which once promised to become a place of importance, has from various causes been transferred to Silloth. Here is a Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1862 and seating 150 persons. The locality is traversed by the Roman wall, the course of which however, is at this point now hardly traceable; here also is a harrow called "Fisher's Cross," and to the west another, known as "Knock's Cross," and in the village stands a fragment of a Roman altar. Wall Letter Box cleared 4.15 p.m. North British Tramway Station, William Oliphant, station master. Police Station, James Bainbridge, constable in charge.

Anthorn, a village and township, on the north side of the estuary of the Wampool, is 6 miles south-west from Bowness. Here is a congregational chapel built in 1869, and seating 100 persons. Solway House, now occupied as a farmhouse, is a pleasantly situated residence overlooking the Solway, Waver, and Wampool; it is surrounded with thriving plantations, and commands extensive prospects. The Earl of Lonsdale, who is lord of the manor, John Backhouse esq. R. K. Whitehead esq. of Pendlebury, Manchester, and Henry Dugdale esq. of Castle Sowerby, are the principal landowners. The population in 1891 was 171. Board School, Anthorn [mixed], built in 1875 for 90 children; average attendance, 60. This school receives £1 5s. 8d. yearly from Pattinson's charity. Joseph William Hopkins, master.

Cardurnock is a hamlet in Anthorn township, 5 miles south-by-west from Bowness.

Longcroft is a hamlet in Anthorn township, 4 miles south-by-west from Bowness.

Drumburgh is a township and village, 4 miles south-east-by-east from Bowness, and has a station on the North British railway, from which a horse tramway, conveying passengers, runs to Glasson and Port Carlisle. Here is the site of a Roman station, which Horsley identified with the Gabrosentum of the "Notitia"; it is the smallest station on the line of the wall, having an area of only ¾ of an acre. In July, 1859, a fragment of stone was found here, with an apparently incomplete inscription. The Rev. John Maughan, rector of Bewcastle, suggested this as the site of the station Olenacum, and by associating the stone with another fragment built into the wall, producing a reading which would record the performance of a vow by the 7th or Aurelian cohort of infantry. The Earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor and principal landowner. The population in 1891 was 406. Post-Office. - George Liddle, sub-postmaster, Letters arrive from Carlisle at 8 a.m. & are dispatched at 2.30 p.m. Bowness is the nearest money order office; telegraph office at Drumburgh railway station. Drumburgh Board School [mixed & infants], built in 1859 for 115 children; average attendance, 80. This school receives a sum of £6. 18s. 8d. from Pattinson's charity. Joseph Waite, master. North British Railway Station. William Foster, station master.

Easton is a hamlet in Drumburgh township, 5 miles east-south--east from Bowness. The Roman wall is believed to have passed through this hamlet. Wall Letter Box cleared at 2.45 p.m.

Masson is a hamlet in the township of Drumburgh, with a small station on the tramway of the North British Railway Company, from Drumburgh to Port Carlisle, at which train stops only when required. The hamlet is 3 miles south-east of Bowness, and 2 south-east from Port Carlisle. There is a Primitive Methodist chapel, built in 1844, and seating 100 persons.

Fingland is a village and township, 5 miles south-south-east of Bowness. The Earl of Lonsdale is lord of the manor, and Messrs. Londow, of Cleator, Cumberland, are the principal landowners. Board School, for 100 children; average attendance, 51; Miss Jane Tellford, mistress.

Whitrigg is a hamlet in Fingland township, near to the banks of the Wampool, and has a station on the Solway Junction railway. The population of the township in 1891 was 221. Railway Station, Whitrigg, William Gordon, station master.

Photographs of Bowness

Bowness-on-Solway : Main Street [c.1948]
© Image from author's photographic archive. DO NOT COPY

More information to follow ....

Contemporary Photographs

Genealogy Connections

Click here to share your story or memories OR to send a genealogy query

Related Newspaper Articles

"A remarkable chapter of accidents is reported from Bowness Hall this week. A young man proceeded to a field on the farm to feed some young horses, when one of the animals in its eagerness knocked him over and broke his collar bone. One of the servants was sent off mounted to telegraph for Mr. Wilson, the bonesetter, but in error he went to the railway station instead of the post office. As he was leaving the station his horse fell, and the rider was pitched off. One of his shoulders was dislocated by the fall, but the horse sustained an internal injury which caused its death in a quarter of an hour. Mr. Wilson subsequently arrived and attended to both the injured men."
"A Chapter Of Accidents At Bowness"
West Cumberland Times : December 28th 1895 Page 5

Beer label for Danger XB brewed at Hartley' of Ulverston after being operated by Robinson's

Navigate via Interactive Map

Click here to visit the website's podcast episodes on Spotify

Click here to visit the website's YouTube Channel

Click here for a Pub Quiz

Click Here for the Pub Jukebox

Click or tap here for more information

Click here to visit the W3C Markup Validation Service