Millom c.1860-2012 GAZ Millom

Economic Activity: The development of Hodbarrow mine, which was to become ‘the most productive haematite mine in the British Isles’ took place in the early 1860s. In 1866 annual output was c. 120,000 tons; by 1880 it had risen to 343,000 tons; and by 1901 to c.400,000 tons. An iron works with two blast furnaces was built 1866-7; the number of blast furnaces had increased to six by 1874. The rapid influx of workers to the mine and iron works was accommodated in a new town, formally inaugurated in April 1866. By 1871 the population of Newtown and Holborn Hill had reached almost 3,000; by 1891 the population of the urban area had risen to 8,871.

Employment in the iron industry had begun to decline before the First World War but iron-making continued until 1968 when the Hodbarrow mine closed. Other 20th-century industrial activity included quarrying for roadstone at Ghyll Scaur Quarry (in Millom Park), from the 1930s and the manufacture of nylon stockings from 1949. Tourism grew in the late 20th century: flooded workings at Hodbarrow were converted into a nature reserve and marina and a visitor centre (Millom Rock Park) was established at Ghyll Scaur Quarry.

Places of Worship: On the growth of the town of Millom a new church of St George was built 1874-7, which became a separate ecclesiastical parish in 1879. Nonconformist places of worship in the new town included: Primitive Methodist chapel at Holborn Hill (built 1866); Wesleyan Methodist chapel (built 1872); Baptist chapel (built 1884); Roman Catholic church of Our Lady & St James (built 1888); Salvation Army fortress (built 1889). A Spiritualist meeting house was recorded 1938; Millom Community Church (Pentecostalist) had been established by 2011. Outside the town, an Anglican chapel of ease and a Wesleyan Methodist chapel had been built at The Hill by 1901.

Institutions: A school board was formed in 1876. By 1901 there were Board Schools at Holborn Hill and Lapstone Road, a Catholic School and an infant school attached to the Wesleyan chapel.

Reading Room and Library (built 1882); infectious diseases hospital, near Hodbarrow Pier, by 1897; Temperance Hall, Co-operative Hall and two public halls, by 1901.

Outside the town: a public hall at The Green by 1901.

Compiled By: AJLW