Cleator Moor

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Cleator Moor
St Mary's RC Church, Cleator.jpg
St Mary's Catholic Church
Cleator Moor is located in Cumbria
Cleator Moor
Cleator Moor
 Cleator Moor shown within Cumbria
Population 6,936 (2011)[1]
OS grid reference NY021150
Civil parish Cleator Moor
District Copeland
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CA25
Dialling code 01946
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Copeland
List of places

Coordinates: 54°31′16″N 3°30′43″W / 54.5211°N 3.5119°W / 54.5211; -3.5119

Cleator Moor /ˈkltər ˈmʊr/ or /ˈmɔːr/ is a small town, civil parish and two electoral wards(north and south) in the English county of Cumbria and within the boundaries of the historic county of Cumberland.

The town's skyline is dominated by Dent Fell and the town is located on the 190 miles (310 km) Coast to Coast Walk that spans Northern England. On the outskirts of the town of Cleator Moor lies the village of Cleator with which the town is closely associated.


Historically in Cumberland, the town was based around the iron works industry and was served in this capacity by two railways. The Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway (WC&ER) was the first railway on the scene and it opened for goods traffic in 1855, then two years later it opened for passenger traffic. The WC&ER sold out to the London and North Western Railway in 1878 but when the Furness Railway objected to the sale it too became a partner, thus forming the Furness & London and North Western Joint Railway the following year. The second railway to serve Cleator Moor was the Cleator & Workington Junction Railway. This new company had a station on the western edge of the town and its double track main line made a junction with the former company at Cleator Moor West Junction.

The town had several iron ore mines and excessive mining caused subsidence. Some parts of the town have been demolished due to undermining in the area, most notably the original Montreal Primary School and the whole of Montreal Street on which it stood.

The Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway suffered from subsidence which forced it to build two deviation branch lines and stations. In Cleator Moor itself a new line was built curving further northwest than the original, with a new station being opened in 1866 some 600 yards further west along Leconfield Street than the original, which became a goods station. The new station was known simply as Cleator Moor, but was renamed Cleator Moor East in 1924.

Subsidence also necessitated a deviation at Eskett. As in Cleator Moor itself, a new line was built to the west of the original Eskett station which was retained as a goods station up to 1931. Yeathouse station was opened on the deviation line as a replacement.

The influx of Irish workers gave the town the nickname Little Ireland. World War I and World War II saw a fresh influx of immigrants from mainland Europe to join the settled Irish community. This has since caused occasional conflict between Catholic and Protestant residents of the town.[citation needed]

In 1938, Jakob Spreiregen founded the company Kangol in Cleator, situated across the road from St Mary's Church. The original factory building still stands but empty, since the company ended its association with the town in 2009.

With the decline of traditional industries and the resulting high rate of unemployment, the town's economy is now dependent on the nearby Sellafield complex, which provides jobs to around half the town's people.


from 1879 Cleator Moor had two railway stations: Cleator Moor East on the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway, and Cleator Moor West on the Cleator and Workington Junction Railway. In 1923 both railway companies and their stations passed over to the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The LMS had acquired shares in the local bus company so to make public transport more lucrative the LMS closed both stations to passengers in 1931. The goods facilities at Cleator Moor continued into the 1950s.

Bus service 22 links Cleator Moor to Whitehaven and Egremont. Bus services 31 and 31A also pass through the town.[2]

Sectarian troubles (19th century)[edit]

Following the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s and the rise of the Orange Order, Cleator Moor found itself for a short period at the centre of sectarian troubles. In April 1871 several hundred Cleator Moor miners entered neighbouring Whitehaven and attacked "Anti-Popery" campaigner William Murphy, pushing him down the stairs of the Oddfellows Hall. The following year Murphy died, possibly as a result of his injuries. On 12 July 1884 the combined Orange Lodges of Cumberland, marched through the town of Cleator Moor to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne, leading to riots and the death of local postal messenger Henry Tumelty, a 17-year-old Catholic, with others listed as having received injuries from bullets, cutlasses and pikes. Local Catholics later took revenge on members of the Orange Order living in the town.[citation needed]


The E.W. Pugin designed Catholic church of St Mary's was consecrated in 1872, replacing the earlier mission church built in 1853. The grounds are home to a meditative walk on the Stations of the Cross and Our Lady's Grotto, a replica of the Grotto at Lourdes, France.


Cleator Moor has a Carnegie library, a grade II listed building which opened in 1906.[3][4]

In August 2008, after being open for 50 years, the town's secondary school, Ehenside School was merged with Wyndham School in Egremont, making way for the West Lakes Academy. The academy initially used the Wyndham School buildings until a new academy building was constructed.


Local amateur rugby league team Wath Brow Hornets won the GMB Union National cup in 2004 and 2005, and the National Conference League in 2012. Local association football team Cleator Moor Celtic F.C. won the County Cup in 1999: the team has supplied players to Sheffield Wednesday, Blackpool, Ipswich Town and Carlisle United. England and former Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson, who currently plays for Wigan Athletic, was once a member of the team.

Notable people[edit]

  • Artist L. S. Lowry regularly visited Cleator Moor and Cleator during the 1950s and painted local scenes including the Westminster Bank.[5]
  • Andrew Belton the military adventurer, was born in Cleator Moor in 1882.[6]
  • Scott Carson, goalkeeper for Derby County.[7]
  • Conrad Atkinson, international Artist, was born and brought up in Cleator Moor.[8] Professor of Art University of California. Has exhibits in the Tate and work by the Artist is installed in The Chancellor of the Exchequers residence 11 Downing Street.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Carnegie Library ~ Cleator Moor blog". 23 August 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  4. ^ Library, Cleator Moor
  5. ^ Cleator Moor
  6. ^ Brief Biography of Andrew Belton by local historian Tom Duffy
  7. ^ Bradbury, Jamie (9 October 2006). "Scott Carson profile". The Football Association. Retrieved 13 March 2014. [dead link]
  8. ^

External links[edit]