by Nev. Ramsden

A town plan for Whitehaven from the time of Richard Aytons visit

Richard Ayton, an early 19th Century traveller, gives his description of life in Whitehaven about the year 1813-14.

Here he describes his first encounter with Whitehaven when approaching over St.Bees Head from the village of St.Bees. It was then a bustling town of 15.000 people, begrimed by coal dust and thronged with shipping. He deals with his personal impressions of the wretched life in a mining community; this concerned life both above, but more particularly, below ground in the then new William Pit and the older James’ Pit.

This is another part of my project to provide background information on West Cumberland to allow those family historians, wanting more than a family tree, to “put some flesh on the bare bones”