A walk around Maryport

Maryport is situated on the west coast of Cumbria just north of Whitehaven.

Its history dates back 2000 years to around 122AD with the arrival of the Romans, with the first recorded occupant being a Roman officer called Marcus Maenius Agrippa.  A personal friend of Emperor Hadrian, he commanded the local Roman fort of Aruana.

When the Romans left in around 410AD, the port was no doubt a landing place for the invading Norse Vikings and until the 18th Century was a quiet fishing village with just a few residents.

In 1756, landowner Humphrey Senhouse changed the name of the lands known as Ellenfoot to Maryport, calling the new town after his wife Mary. A name which was later to be confirmed in an act of Parliament in 1791.

During the first half of the 19th century Maryport boomed. A gas supply was connected, the railway was built, ships were registered for the first time and the bonded warehouse was built in 1842.

The Elizabeth and Senhouse docks were opened in 1857 and 1884 respectively. The Maryport and Carlisle railway which was planned by George Stephenson, opened in 1845.  This resulted in Maryport having the largest docks on the West Cumbrian coast until 1927.

The harbour was founded mainly for the export of locally mined coals to Ireland and products from the Solway Iron Works.

Apart from it’s Victorian docks, Maryport town has a wealth Georgian buildings and an industrial history, including coal mining, iron making, shipping, shipbuilding and many fascinating links with famous people and historical events.

Much of the town can be easily reached by foot.  The slideshow below is the result of one such visit, starting at the aquarium on the quayside and returning there a few hours later.

[slidepress gallery=’a-walk-around-maryport’]

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