Askam

 
 Askam station with a train heading northwards towards Carlisle.   (JT)
 
 St Peter's church overlooking the sea. (Visit Cumbria)

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The settlement of Askam has now merged with Ireleth but both places have very different origins. Ireleth is older, dating back to the Vikings and became a farming village overlooking the scenic Duddon Estuary.

Askam was established in the middle of the 18th Century following what turns out to be the second largest quantity of iron ore in the country. It was discovered by Henry William Schneider and the area quickly grew to accommodate a thriving iron industry. The supply of iron ore finally ran out by 1918 by which time some 7 million tons had been extracted. By the 1930s most of the industrial buildings had been demolished and only the pier and slag tips, now important areas of vegetation, remain as reminders of the past.

Remains of old industries can be seen on the hills above Askam but new industry can be seen too in the shape of wind turbines. The estuary is growing in importance as a source of wind generated power.

Askam is now more important for wildlife due to its location close to the Duddon Estuary. Askam beach is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and this area has 20% of the national Natterjack Toad population. It lies on the 240 Km/150 mile long Cumbria Coastal Walk.

The railway arrived in 1846, originally to serve the industry, but a new station was build in 1868 to a Paley and Austin chalet style. The design was originally intended for nearby Millom.

There is limited parking at the station.

 
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