Workington 

The fine front of Workington station - ten minutes walk from the town centre.  (JT)
 
 Workington's elegant Portland Square. (Visit Cumbria)
 
The interior of St John's Church.
 
  St Mary's Church: a fine example of Pugin's Early English style.
 
Workington's Local History Museum

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Workington is an ancient market and industrial town on the banks of the River Derwent and parts of the town on the north bank date back to Roman times when forts protected the coast from raiders coming from modern day Ireland and Scotland. Burrow Walls is the name of a place where there are still remains of a Norman Hall built on the site of a Roman fort (Latin name unknown). Ruins of the Roman coastal defences were recorded as being visible in the 16th Century. This site lies in Northside, which, as its name suggests, lies north of the river and the town centre.

A Viking sword was discovered  at Northside, indicating that there was a settlement at the mouth of the River Derwent from the 9th Century. However, it was in the 18th Century that Workington grew due to the local supplies of coal and iron ore. It was here that Henry Bessemer first introduced his revolutionary method of making steel. For many years, railway lines were produced at the steel mills and were sent right across the country and also across the world. There is a common local phrase that Workington's rails "held the world together". The preserved ruins of Jane Pit can be seen at Workington and Haig Pit Mining Museum is worth a visit.

Now with a population of around 24,000, Workington has had to diversify and change as steel production stopped in 2006 and floods damaged the town and its bridges, except the railway bridge, in 2009. The new £50 million Washington Square shopping centre opened in 2006.

In addition to the Workington Local History Museum with its 5 permanent galleries, (see www.helenathompsonmuseum.co.uk) the town has a fine, collection of historic churches. A church has stood on the site of St, Michael's since the 7th Century. The classical St John's church dates to 1823 and the Roman Catholic church of St Mary is one of the finest examples of E.W. Pugin's designs in the Early English style. A number of the town's churches are highly decorated.

The town has three theatres plus the new Plaza Cinema located in Dunmail Park, and holds an annual programme of festivals and events.

Workington is one of the starting points for the C2C sea to sea cycle way from the Irish Sea to the North Sea (the other is Whitehaven). For more information Click here 

Click here for more about Workington 

 

 

 
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