Grid Ref : NY 084468
Mawbray means ‘maiden’s castle or stronghold’ and refers to the existence of an old Roman fort. Indeed, the Roman fort of Bibra, between Mawbray and Beckfoot, was excavated in 1879.
Mawbray Banks is part of the Solway Coast between Mawbray Yard and Beckfoot. The Romans used the bank as a cemetery, where military personnel were cremated on pyres and their ashes buried in pots. In the 17th century, the Quakers held secret religious meetings, ‘the meeting place upon Mawbray Banke’. Sand and gravel for use in the building industry use to be taken from the banks until fairly recently. Today the Banks are protected, being designated an area of outstanding beauty.
According to the local historian, Francis Grainger, Mawbray has been in existence since 1150. It is a village of some 40 houses right on the Solway coast. In former times the inhabitants were mostly farmers and a few fishermen.
On a fine day, standing on a high point of Mawbray Banks, looking southeast towards Skiddaw and northwest towards Criffel, one can take in the magnificent, unspoilt views across the Solway Plain to the Lakeland Hills and across the Solway Estuary to Scotland.
Mawbray is about 2 miles north of Allonby, and about 5 miles south of Silloth. About 1.5 miles east is the tiny hamlet of Holme St Cuthbert, with the rather grand St Cuthbert’s Church.
On the coast road is Bank Mill Nurseries. As well as extensive nursery offerings, there is a small gift area, a coffee shop serving a variety of meals and snacks using local produce, a butterfly house, a reptile house, a nature reserve with ponds and picnic tables, flower meadows, and some Jacob sheep.
Related links :
- History of Mawbray – from Holme St Cuthbert Local History Group.
- Cumbria on a Plate – Gourmet tours in Cumbria by Annette Gibbons