With a population of around 6,000 lying under the shadow of the foreboding Black Combe, Millom is steeped in history and home to one of the UK‛s SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest)
Millom, mentioned in the Domesday Book, is a town on the North shore of the Estuary of the River Duddon under the imposing Black Combe Fell. In this relatively unknown corner of the County you will find what can be considered one of the most beautiful of the dales in the Lake District, the Duddon Valley, immortalised in poetry by Wordsworth.
Originally called Holborn Hill, Millom takes its name from nearby Millom Castle, a grade 1 listed building but now a working farm and not open to the public. Millom Castle, was originally the home of the Huddleston family, who for many years had the power of life or death over those in their manor. King Edward II granted the family a licence to embattle their manor house in 1335. Millom Castle suffered in the civil war – the Huddlestons being Catholic were on the side of King Charles I, and the Castle was badly damaged by the Roundheads. The Huddleston family continued their occupation into the C18 when they sold to the First Earl of Lonsdale, who searched for iron ore.
Until the success of the iron ore mines, Millom was a small village making its living from fishing, but the significance of the iron deposits was such that workers were brought in and by 1873 some three hundred were employed in the mines. Millom owes its existence to the discovery of iron ore and the opening of mines and iron works in the 19th century. At the peak of production, some half a million tons of iron ore were transported from here for smelting. Evidence of the mines can still be seen today around the town and shown in the ‘red‛ earth.
Millom‛s‛ most famous son, Norman Nicholson, writer and poet, spent his whole life in this town. His poetry is noted for its local concerns, straightforward language, and elements of common speech. Something still found today in the inhabitants of this, his birthplace.
Within the town visitors will find such landmarks as St George‛s Church, being visible for quite some distance and hosting a memorial window to the memory of Norman Nicholson. A Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) is to be found at the Hodbarrow Nature Reserve, bordering an artificial lagoon Along with this to the East of the town is Millom‛s Iron Works Local Nature Reserve. Both sites are home to tern species and a number of wading birds and waterfowl.
Millom Discovery Centre, situated on the railway station, will give visitors a snapshot into the history and development of the area, brought about by the significant iron ore mining and iron works. A walk around the ‘sea wall‛ with it‛s 2 surviving lighthouses is a must with stunning scenery and views right across the bay.
Visitors to the town will find many fine eating establishments of all cuisines and accommodation to suit all budgets. The Beggars Theatre offers guests entertainment from touring theatres and some of the UK‛s leading stand up comedians.
For those who prefer to walk there are numerous paths both coastal and through the gorgeous countryside all of varying difficulty. There are two beautiful unspoilt beaches to visit too – ‘The Marine‛ and ‘The Rocks‛ both boasting unrivalled views across the bay.
Sport plays a great part in Millom, having the oldest Amatuer Rugby Football League in the world. There are also two football, two cricket and two rugby teams in the area and a ParkRun each week for those more athletic among us. For families the local Park has lots to offer too, being maintained by the community, and including a bowling green; childrens play area and fitness trail; multi-use games area and tennis courts.