Home History
History - History Extra
Article Index
History
History Extra
Web References
All Pages

 HistoryExtra Information:

It is interesting to note that the immediate vicinity of Dubwath has been, and still is today, an important pert of the transport infrastructure of Cumbria. The Romans had two major routes nearby, one passed via Keswick on its journey from Ambleside to Cockermouth, over the Whinlatter Pass. The second route took the eastern side of Bassenthwaite Lake, supplying the auxiliary fort at Caermote, near Bothel, finally turning north to Carlisle.

There were of course, local tracks and paths around Dubwath and the surrounding settlements of Wythop and Embleton, suitable only for carts and people on foot. In the 18th century, tracks were improved by the introduction of the Turnpike Act and later on, by the A66 trunk road. This preceded the present dual carriageway of the 1970's which took the line of the former Cockermouth, Keswick and Penrith railway. The railway opened in 1865 and passed very close to the wetland site, the former Bassenthwaite Lake station buildings are still visible today, the line was abandoned in 1966; please note the station masters house is occupied and the land is private! The photograph here shows a scene from the 1930's and the wetland area can be seen clearly to the right of the fence line.Looking towards Bassenthwaite Lake Station

There was a level crossing by the house and signal box, taking the line across the old A66, the new road now follows the route of the railway, which for obvious reasons was built on slightly higher ground!

Early travellers used both sides of Bassenthwaite Lake for their journeys to the busy port of Whitehaven. During the "Picturesque" landscape movement of the 1750's, villas were built at Higham and Armathwaite, one is now a further education centre and the latter an exclusive hotel. The nearby Pheasant Inn was formally a farm but in 1778 became a coaching inn, catering for the thirst and rest of weary travellers.

At Castle How, (further on past the Pheasant Inn) is the site of an ancient British Hill-Fort and on Elva Plain (near Higham Hall) are the remains of an ancient stone circle. There are strong links all over this area of Norse settlements, Bassenthwaite translates from "Batsuns thwaite or clearing", and Dubwath is "ford across the mire", which is literally correct! Look at this recent photograph of the wetland under water during the floods of October 2008.

 

 

Floods October 2008

The Heritage Lottery funded initiative called Bassenthwaite Reflections first recognised the Dubwath site as having the potential for bio-diversity and the other qualities needed for the improvement of Bassenthwaite Lakes water quality.