Haverthwaite & The Lakeside Railway

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Haverthwaite Lakeside Railway

Haverthwaite is a small village and civil parish in the Furness region of Cumbria. It is also within the boundaries of the Lake District National Park. It is located several miles east of Ulverston and is near the southern end of Windermere. The village gets part of its name from the Old Norse word thwaite which usually refers to a clearing or settlement in the forest.

The village was originally a Viking settlement, but it has been suggested that there may have been a settlement of sorts there before the Vikings arrived.

In the 18th century there were two iron furnaces near the village, one at Backbarrow and the other at Low Wood. The furnace at Backbarrow was supplied from 1711 with iron ore from Low Furness which would have arrived at the quays in Haverthwaite and been transported to Backbarrow by horse and cart. In 1860 the Furness Railway opened its branch line that ran from Ulverston to Lakeside and almost overnight the quays fell into disuse.

In 1798 Low Wood gunpowder works was established and continued production until 1935. The nearby River Leven was used to transport the finished product.

The vicarage was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the new route of the A590.

St Anne’s Church was originally a chapel under Colton; it was consecrated in 1825 and extended in 1838. When it was built, it received a grant on condition that 200 sittings were to be ‘free and unappropriated for ever’. It appears in the music video of Never Went to Church by The Streets.

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway (L&HR) is a 3.2-mile-long (5.1 km) heritage railway in Cumbria. The L&HR runs from Haverthwaite at the southern end of the line via Newby Bridge to Lakeside at the southern end of Windermere. Some services are timed to connect with sailings of the diesel excursion vessels or steam vessels on Windermere, sailing from Lakeside to Bowness and Ambleside.

The railway is a former branch line of the Furness Railway (FR) and was opened on 1 June 1869. The line was served by local passenger trains which started their journey at Ulverston on the FR’s mainline from Carnforth to Barrow-in-Furness.

The FR branch trains travelled east to the triangular junction at Plumpton and then turned north via Greenodd and on to stations at Haverthwaite, Newby Bridge halt and Lakeside.

The FR’s weekdays passenger service in July 1922 comprised eight trains in each direction. There were advertised train-to-boat connections that were established in 1869. During the summer season, excursion trains from Lancashire and elsewhere used the east-to-north side of Plumpton Junction to reach Lakeside, where their passengers joined the boat sailings on the lake.