Haverthwaite 3

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Haverthwaite - Dirt, Danger and Innovaton

Haverthwaite a Port?

The Bridge at Loowwood

photo of the Gunpowder Quays looking upstream from the bridge at Lowwood

Haverthwaite may look like it has always been and idylic rural residential village but the current vista belies the real industrial and often dangerous past.
As part of the Leven Valley Haverthwaite was host to the Iron industry, the Railways, the manufacturing of Gunpowder, charcoal, quarrying and agriculture which have all played their part in shaping the landscape and culture of this little part of the world.
During the last 200 years what we would now refer to as small cottage industries contibuted greatly to the local economy with the manufacture of Oak Swills (Baskets) and Besoms. (Hazel twig brooms)

Shallow Draft Boats

Before the railway was built around the mid 19th century flat bottomed, shallow draft boats called "Flatties" were used to transport Iron Ore and Gunpowder from just above Low Wood Bridge to the Estuary and Greenodd which was a thriving port at that time. As a matter of interest, the old quay in Greenodd was what is now the main street and when the schooners used to tie up one of the windows of the Ship Inn had to be left open so the ships bowspit could protude.

Long Standing Village Links

In many respects the fortunes of Haverthwaite and Backbarrow have been inter-linked for centuries and this remains so to the present day. From the connections with supplying the mills and foundries to being part of the same parish.

Whilst we may not have been able to claim Haverthwaite as a port the lower Leven was navigable and during the production of iron ore and gunpowder vessels could tie up along the river as far up as the old wood yard. Buildings are still standing from Crosedale's wood yard but the business has now moved to a new location within the village and is known as Playdale.


On the left the picture would have been the old landing jetties and looking east up stream you can just make out the island in the middle of the river where the mid-section support used to sit on the old bridge across the Leven. The bridge serviced the wood yard, furnaces and foundries and the gunpowder works before the present bridge was built.

Landing Jetties

photo looking downstream from the bridge at Lowwood 2005
If you know where to look, you can still see the remains of the old jetties where boats tied up for the loading of their cargoes of Iron Ore or gun Powder. They would have been on the left of the photo where the Playing Fields are now situated.
The jetties are at the bottom left hand side of the playing fields for those who wish to view them, expect it to be somewhat overgrown but they are still visible.
Looking at the scene now it is difficult to imagine the river being navigable at these points along the bank.

Millerbeck Open Days


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