Millom - the West Coast.
The Duddon Valley near Millom.
Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Millom. A small and peaceful town overlooking the Duddon Sands, Millom has as a backdrop, the imposing Black Combe fell and, a little nearer, Low Scales where you can find a pair of Stone Circles.
There is a nature reserve not far from the town in tranquil surroundings, good walks are to be found in this relatively unknown corner of the county.
At low tide it is possible to walk over the Duddon Sands to Askam-in-Furness, though this is not recommended without a guide, or you may find yourself stuck in the sands.
The Nature Reserve, Millom.
To the north of the town is what can be considered one of the most beautiful of the dales in the Lake District, the Duddon Valley, immortalised in poetry by Wordsworth.
Surprisingly it is not visited all that often and this of course adds greatly to its charm. At the top of the valley is some of the best walking country in the world.
The town is not geared towards tourism in the way that some in the county are, the town centre is small and is free of the gift shops that one associates with organised tourism. That is not to say they are bad or inferior but Millom would not be enjoyed by that particular type of visitor.
Local attractions include:
The Duddon Sands - Millom Folk Museum - Muncaster Castle - Duddon Mosses Nature Reserve - Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway & Museum - Broughton in Furness - Millom is not far from Ulverston and Barrow in Furness.
Those who wish to wander off the beaten tourist track could do worse than pay a visit to Millom. One of Britain's most celebrated poets of recent times, Norman Nicholson, chose to spend his entire life in the town, this I think, tells you that it must be worthy of a closer look.
A less popular destination for a day out certainly, but never the less Millom and the surrounding area should be placed on your schedule when planning your holiday in Cumbria and the Lake District.
Millom: a short history: top
Originally called Holborn Hill, Millom takes its name from nearby Millom Castle, now a working farm and not open to the public.
Until the success of the iron ore mines, Millom was a small village making its living from fishing, but the significance of the iron deposits was such that workers were brought in and by 1873 some three hundred were employed in the mines.
In order to protect the mine workings from high tides and storms a defensive wall was built around what is now the Hodbarrow Nature Reserve.
Mining in the area was originally started by the Earl of Lonsdale (of the family who virtually created most of the towns and industries on the Cumbrian coast), but having no luck instead leased the mines and land to another company who made a success out of the venture.
Of course the Earl also made a tidy profit from their endeavours.
Millom Castle, was originally the home of the Huddleston family, who for many years had the power of life or death over those in their manor. King Edward II granted the family a licence to crenelate their manor house in 1335.
Millom Castle (not open to the public).
The part of the building that is most obvious as you approach Millom from the Northeast is the tower, this is a later addition of the C16, and is most impressive in stature, (some fifty feet square with walls seven feet thick).
Millom Castle suffered in the civil war - the Huddlestons being Catholic were on the side of King Charles I, and the Castle was badly damaged by the Roundheads. The Huddleston family continued their occupation into the C18 when they sold to the First Earl of Lonsdale, who searched for iron ore.
Holy Trinity, Millom.
Just behind the Castle is the delightful Holy Trinity church, partly C12 and partly C19, it is of great interest with a wonderful "fish" window in the west wall. Inside can be found effigies of Sir John Huddleston and his wife, (died 1494), carved from alabaster and very fine.
Holy Trinity, Millom.
Location: OS ref SD 175800 Sheet 96. Get the map.