Millom is a small coastal town situated on the fringe of the Lake District National Park, in the southerly part of Copeland.
Before the discovery of iron ore at Hodbarrow, Millom was just a few villages and farms. After the discovery, in 1855, Millom became a prosperous town with a population of more than 10,000. Little evidence remains of that iron and steel activity, although it was amongst the largest industrial sites of its type in the world.
Millom Museum is home to vivid displays, including a reconstruction of a drift mine, recording this aspect of Millom’s past.
Millom has recently had a statue commemorating the town’s iron industry placed in the town. The statue of ‘The Scutcher’, (the man who stopped the iron ore tubs with an iron bar and his own strength), is by Colin Telfer of Maryport, and is made from a mixture of iron ore dust from Florence Mine at Egremont, and resin. The plinth, with its sandstone carvings, was designed by Will Todd of Grizebeck.
The iron ore mining took place in Hodbarrow, which today is a major RSPB nature reserve bordering an artificial lagoon, a legacy of the iron ore workings, and where many species of bird may be seen.
Poetry also played a part in the cultural life of Millom in the 20th Century. It was in the town that the writer Norman Nicholson was born, and lived. A permanent exhibition in the Museum records his life and works. There is a recently commissioned stained glass window in St George’s Church, dedicated to the Norman Nicholson. The ancient Holy Trinity Church, with its strange ‘fish’ window, is also worth a visit. Beside the Holy Trinity church are the remains of Millom Castle, with its four storey high pele tower.
The nearby village of Haverigg has safe beaches and children’s adventure play features, making it a good place for families with children.
In 2003, the 7 tonne sculpture ‘Escape to Light’ by the world famous sculptress Josefina de Vasconcellos was installed near to the Haverigg Inshore Rescue station. It is dedicated to all Inshore Rescue Teams in the UK.
The Cumbrian Heavy Horse Centre in Millom is the UK’s only specialised Heavy Horse Riding establishment. A small family run Equestrian Centre unique in the use of magnificent Clydesdale, Shire and Ardennes heavy horse breeds, for riding.