A Timeline of Whitehaven

By Tim Lambert

1630 Sir Christopher Lowther purchases an estate at Whitehaven and decides to use the place for exporting coal from the Cumbrian coalfield

1634 He builds a stone pier where ships can load and unload cargoes

1640s Chapel Street and King Street are built

1660 The Lord of the Manor grants the right to hold a weekly market and an annual fair in Whitehaven. The community flourishes and grows rapidly.

1670s Tobacco from Virginia is imported into Whitehaven

1685 Until this year Whitehaven is officially part of the port of Carlisle. It now becomes independent.

1693 The Church of St Nicholas is built in Whitehaven

1700 The population of Whitehaven is now about 3,000, making it a fair sized town

c. 1730 Large amounts of rum and sugar are imported in Whitehaven

1735 Sugar Tongue Quay in Whitehaven

1743 A scavenger is appointed to clean the streets of Whitehaven

1753 St James’s Church is built in Queen Street

1754 Lime Quay is built

1762 A survey shows Whitehaven has a population of 9,063, making it a large and important town

1778 The Americans attack Whitehaven

1781 Whitehaven is the 6th most important port in England. The streets are lit with oil lamps.

1830 The streets of Whitehaven are lit with gas

1838 West Pier is built

1841 North Pier is built

1847 The railway arrives in Whitehaven

1852 A piped water supply is created

1876 Queens Dock is built

1880 A new Market Hall is built

1888 The first public library in Whitehaven opens

1893 The streets of Whitehaven are lit with electricity

1901 The population of Whitehaven in about 19,000

1957-64 West Cumberland Hospital is built

1993 A company is formed to refurbish Whitehaven Harbour

1996 The Beacon opens

1999 The first Maritime Festival is held.

2000 Rum Story opens

2001 Whitehaven has a population of 25,500

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