Maryport

Maryport's new station building.  (SW)
 Maryport's fine Georgian town centre. (Picture from Mike Faulkner/Visit Cumbria)
 

 Senhouse museum lying between the Roman site and the coast. (Simon Ledingham/Visit Cumbria)

The Wild Solway Centre and childrens play area at the Aquarium.  (JT)
 
Maryport harbour with the spire of Christ Church on the left. (Mike Faulkner/Visit Cumbria) 
Fishing boats in Maryport harbour at low tide. (JT)
 
The Maritime Museum near to the harbour.  (JT) 

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Maryport is an attractive coastal town on the Solway estuary, with sweeping views, shoreline walks, golf links, coastal sailing, lively pubs and memorable summer festivals. Here you can experience a maritime history of two thousand years of the sea, visit the many attractions and unique shops, and discover a Lake District experience with definite difference.

Maryport dates back to at least the year AD 122 when a Roman fort, probably named "ALAUNA" was built at the Western end of Hadrian's northern defences of the empire. Later, a larger Roman fort, town and harbour were built, to complement the port further south at modern day Ravenglass.

The largest collection of Roman altars from a single site in Britain are held in the Senhouse museum  on the cliff top adjecant to the Roman site. Finds from the site have been collected since 1570 and many buildings in the area are built out of stones taken from Roman ruins. Senhouse Roman Museum is accessible for all, has toilets and cycle parking facilities plus a specialist book and gift shop. Buses go in the direction of the museum from the town centre but it is only a 15 minute walk up and along the Promenade from the harbour and the views are worth the effort.

At  the Senhouse museum there is also a replica Roman watch tower and from it there are fine views towards the harbour and across the Solway. Inside the museum there are many exhibits, a book shop and areas for children. Large maps show how much of the Roman past still lies under the ground including the civilian settlement and the roads radiating from the fort.

Maryport was the birth place of Thomas Henry Ismay, father of Bruce Ismay who survived the Titanic disaster. In 1867 he bought the White Star Line and began a high success story. 2012 sees the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Modern Maryport dates back to the 18th century and the Senhouse family when the settlement grew from a small fising port into a harbour exporting coal and supporting a ship building industry. Now Maryport is a well-preserved example of a Georgian planned town. Pay a visit to Fleming Square - a charming cobbled square with large, mainly Georgian houses, many of which are colourfully painted.

Take a leisurely walk around the town. Alternatively the harbour and marina have lots to offer for an interesting day out. The Lake District Coast Aquarium is not just about fish although it is a good place to see native and freshwater fish and invertebrates. This attraction was winner of the Cumbria Tourism awards in 2010. The free entry Wild Solway exhibition centre always has informative displays and the Quayside Cafe serves good food within sight of the harbour. This attraction is open daily from 10 to 5 (except Christmas day and Boxing day). Fishing boats can still be seen in the harbour as a reminder of a once bigger local industry.

At the edge of the harbour is the Wave building and the much older Maritime museum, next to which stands a fine sculpture called "A Fishey Talk". During 2012, the Maritime Museum will feature the centenary of the Titanic. Click here for more

The main shopping area has recently undergone extensive enhancement to compliment the wide range of locally run shops, some unique to Maryport, and each Friday a market in the town centre.

Maryport, with a population of over 11,000, has a wide range of hotels, cafes, restaurants, takeaways and pubs, which offer something for everyone. Over the years Maryport has put itself on the map by hosting Music Festivals throughout the summer - Punk, Sixties, Sea Shanties and Blues music, plus much more.

There is car parking at the new station which is about 10 minutes walk from the town centre and harbour.

For more information about Maryport Click Here

Only 3 km/2 miles along the coast to the north east, past the golf course, is Milefortlet 21 and the Roman saltpan at Crosscanonby.  

For additional larger pictures of Maryport and Senhouse Museum, have a look at the Gallery page.

 The replica Roman coastal watch tower at Senhouse museum.  (JT)
 
 
 
 
 
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