[from Jefferys A Descriptive Account of the Isle of Man, 1808]
For the convenience of the numerous parties, who, every season, visit the beautiful scenes of the Lakes and Mountains in Westmorland and Cumberland, who may be induced to extend their tour to the Isle of Man, and from thence along the coast of Cumberland, to make an excursion into Scotland, I shall give a short description of the towns through which the road lies.
which is generally visited in the tour of the Lakes, is but fourteen miles from Whitehaven, from whence a passage may at all times be had to the Isle of Man.
is a piece well worth the attention of a stranger. The quays, the docks, and the peculiar mode of loading the colliers, will strike a stranger with astonishment; and it is the only place I know of, where a stranger can be gratified upon the quays, without the annoyance so common to extensive commerce, from the great space they occupy. The town, though a dirty place, is capable of being made one of the best in England, as the streets are very straight, the houses regularly built, and the churches stand in a right line with the fronts of the houses. Yet, for the want of better pavement, and the removal of obstructions, such as a sort of covered way, line a sentry box, which leads to the basement stories of the houses, the town has a very gloomy appearance.
From the spirited improvements lately made, in a new road at the entrance of the town from Cockermouth, under the auspices of the Earl of Lonsdale, there is little doubt, from the interest his Lordship takes in every thing that can benefit the place, the ample means he possesses, and the spirit, as well as judgment, which he has strewn in the improvements already made, that others, equally beneficial, will gradually take place.
The trade of this place, from its inexhaustible coal mines, is very. great; and it is not an uncommon thing, to see from fifty to a hundred vessels at a tide, leaving the harbour, with coals, for Ireland.
Such extended commerce is, of course, the occasion of great wealth to the inhabitants, who appear to lye with a degree of spirit suited to their prosperity; and of their character for hospitality, the very liberal and kind attentions which I experienced from my good friend Mr Blakeney, of the Customs, during my short stay at Whitehaven, will ever call upon me to speak with gratitude and respect.
The principal inn is kept by Mrs Vickars. About eight miles north of Whitehaven, is
a close ill-built town, but with a very excellent inn, the Green Dragon, kept by Salkeld. Adjoining to the town is Workington Hall, the ancient seat of the Curwen family. At this house, Mary, Queen of Scots, was received after her flight from Scotland, till she was removed by order of Queen Elizabeth, first to Cockermouth, and then to Carlisle Castle.
Pursuing the road to the North, through Maryport, at about fourteen miles from Workington, is
without exception the pleasantest spot on the whole of the north-west coast. It is a village much resembling those in the south of England. It is used entirely as a bathing place by the families of the north, and many of the visitors from the Lakes,who extend their journey to this pleasant little spot. There is a variety of lodging houses, and a very good inn kept by Coulthard. The company either live in their lodgings, or board together at Coulthard's, where there is a long room for the purpose. The sands are finely adapted for bathing, and there are several machines, besides a hot bath at Coulthard's.
The views from this place are delightful, as it is situated at the opening of the Solway Frith into the sea, in a bay magnificently formed by the mountains of Scotland.
It is ten miles from Wigton, and twenty to Carlisle. But pursuing the road along the coast to the north, at about nine miles from Allonby is
another bathing place, situated upon the extreme north-west point of Cumberland, upon the Solway Frith, and commanding rich and extensive views of the opposite coast of Scotland.
Skinburness is a single house, where the company live together as at Matlock, Harrogate, &c.
From thence, every tide, a, boat sails up the Solway Frith to
ANNAN (in Scotland.)
It is a pleasant passage gadabout an hour, or little more, and the fare is two shillings for each passenger.
Annan is in the county of Dumfries. It is a singularly neat and pretty town; most delightfully situated on the bank of the river Annan. It consists of a long, wide, well-paved street; with the houses uniformly built. It possesses great convenience for trade, the river opening within a mile of the town into the Solway Frith. There is an extensive brewery; and also the cotton works of Mr Hurst, which furnish employment to numerous poor.
But one of the most powerful recommendations to Annan is, the excellent system of education pursued at its Academy, under the direction of Mr Dalgleish; who, to great classical attainments, and the merit of successfully imparting instruction to his pupils, unites the liberal mind, and easy manners of a gentleman.
Annan is distant frown Dumfries about fifteen miles, on the great road to Port Patrick, from Carlisle. It is also at an easy distance from several places in Scotland, well worth the attention of those who would wish to see a little of that country, and have not time to spare for a longer tour. The Queensbury Arms, at Annan, which is kept by Mrs Rickards, an English woman, is a very excellent inn; and at which a family, desirous of remaining for a few days, will find every comfortable accommodation that an inn can afford.
*Families, who have a carriage to take over, should go Mom Allonby to Wigton, twelve miles. There is a very good inn, the Queen's Head, kept by Irvine; and from his house post horses may be had, to go through the Frith at low water, with great safety, to Annan; and the distance is fourteen miles.
I now conclude, with expressing an anxious hope, that what I have submitted to the public, will be found to correspond with my professions made in the preface, " to endeavour to afford useful information, accompanied only by such observations as might arise out of the subject; keeping entirely from every remark, that could, by any possible construction, give offence, either to the private or political feelings of others."
And if it should be the good fortune of this publication, that its contents excite any interest in the feelings of its readers towards the Island and its inhabitants, whose surface and manners I have attempted to describe, it will afford me very sincere pleasure to think, that, by any little efforts of mine, I can have contributed to the eloquent reasoning of Mr Pope, that
The proper study of Mankind is Man.
F I N I S.
Newcastle, printed by Pr'`ton ~ lIrateri.