Coordinates: 54°11′35″N 3°05′24″W / 54.193°N 3.090°W / 54.193; -3.090
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Town and parish
Market Street, Ulverston
Ulverston is located in Morecambe Bay
Location on Morecambe Bay
Ulverston is located in the former South Lakeland district
Location in the former South Lakeland district
Ulverston is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population11,678 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSD2878
Civil parish
  • Ulverston
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLA12
Dialling code01229
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
54°11′35″N 3°05′24″W / 54.193°N 3.090°W / 54.193; -3.090

Ulverston is a market town and civil parish in Westmorland and Furness, Cumbria, England. In the 2001 census the parish had a population of 11,524,[2] increasing at the 2011 census to 11,678.[1] Historically in Lancashire, it lies a few miles south of the Lake District National Park and just north-west of Morecambe Bay, within the Furness Peninsula. Lancaster is 39 miles (63 km) to the east, Barrow-in-Furness 10 miles (16 km) to the south-west and Kendal 25 miles (40 km) to the north-east.


Hoad Hill and the Hoad Monument, a near replica of the third Eddystone Lighthouse

The name Ulverston, first noted as Ulurestun in the Domesday Book of 1086, consists of an Old Norse personal name, Úlfarr, or the Old English Wulfhere, with the Old English tūn, meaning farmstead or village.[3] The personal names Úlfarr and Wulfhere both imply "wolf warrior" or "wolf army",[4] which explains the presence of a wolf on the town's coat of arms. The loss of the initial W in Wulfhere can be linked to Scandinavian influence in the region.[5] Locally, the town has traditionally been known as Oostan.[6] Other variants include Oluestonam (1127), and Uluereston (1189).[5] The name was spelled "Ulverstone" until at least 1888. [7]

The market charter granted in 1280 by Edward I[8] was for a market on Thursdays. The town retains its market-town appearance; market days are now Thursdays and Saturdays.[9] The charter also allowed public houses to open from 10:30 am to 11:00 pm, regardless of other statute on the books. The present Saturday market includes in the summer craft stalls, charity stalls and locally produced ware on "Made in Cumbria" stalls.

The parish church is a listed building and was founded in the 12th century. Historically, the parish included chapelries and townships that later became separate civil parishes: Blawith, Church Coniston, Egton with Newland, Lowick, Mansriggs, Osmotherley, Subberthwaite and Torver. From 1894 to 1974 the town served as an urban district in the administrative county of Lancashire. Under the Local Government Act 1972 it became a successor parish in the Cumbria district of South Lakeland.[10]

Town Bank Grammar School was founded in 1658 from a benefaction by Thomas Fell.[11] The Victoria Road drill hall opened in 1873.[12]

Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy statue; Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in 1890, and named Arthur Jefferson.
Laurel and Hardy Museum

The High Carley Hospital and Ulverston Joint Hospital Board built an infectious disease hospital at High Carley, Pennington, in 1884. It was initially a fever hospital for paupers. In 1916 a second hospital, run by Lancashire County Council, was built to treat tubercular patients. From 1949 a children's annexe was built. In the 1950s, as the number of tubercular patients decreased, the hospital was run as an acute hospital. In 1984, after the building of the new Furness General Hospital, High Carley was closed.[13]

In 2009, the comedian Ken Dodd unveiled a statue of Laurel and Hardy (by Graham Ibbeson) outside Coronation Hall in the town centre.[14]


On 28 April 2009, Ulverston was near the epicentre of an earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter magnitude scale. Tremors were felt across south Cumbria and parts of north Lancashire at 11.22, but virtually no damage was caused. A spokesman for the British Geological Survey stated that earthquakes of such magnitude occur roughly once a year in Britain.[15] Regionally, it was the strongest seismic event since a magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck Lancaster in 1835.[16][17]


Ulverston is within Westmorland and Furness unitary authority area in the ceremonial county of Cumbria. Until 2023 it was within South Lakeland District. Ulverston Town Council covers some parochial matters.[18]

The town is in the wider civil parish of Ulverston. This is bounded in the east by the Leven estuary, the River Crake, Coniston Water and Yewdale Beck. To the west the boundary follows a chain of hills, and beyond lie the towns of Kirkby-in-Furness and Askam and Ireleth. To the south is relatively low land that rises quickly. In the north are hills such as Coniston Old Man. The parish settlements are mainly in the eastern part.[5]

Places of interest[edit]

The Laurel & Hardy Museum is situated in Ulverston.[19]

The limestone Hoad Monument (proper name: the Sir John Barrow Monument) was built in 1850 in honour of the statesman Sir John Barrow.[20] It offers views that include Morecambe Bay and parts of the Lake District.

The Roxy Cinema opened on Monday 21st June 1937 with ‘Rose Marie’ starring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette Macdonald. It was designed by Drury and Gomersall for the James Brennan circuit.[citation needed]


Entrance to Croftlands Infant School

Ulverston Victoria High School (UVHS), the town's secondary school, with some 1,200 pupils, includes a sixth form college with about 400.[21] There are four main primary schools; Croftlands Junior (secular), St Mary's (Catholic), Church Walk (Church of England) and Sir John Barrow (secular)[22] and a special education school, near Sandside.[23]


Ulverston railway station, a short walk from the town centre, lies on the Furness Line between Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster, which leads on to Manchester Airport. Some trains continue along the Cumbrian Coast line to Carlisle.

The town's several bus services include the X6 between Kendal and Barrow-in-Furness via Grange-over-Sands, the X12 to Coniston and Spark Bridge, and the 6A and 6 to Barrow-in-Furness.

Local media[edit]

Regional TV news comes from Salford-based BBC North West and ITV Granada. Television signals are received from the Winter Hill TV transmitter, [24] and the Lancaster relay transmitter.[25]

Local radio stations are BBC Radio Cumbria on 96.1 FM, Heart North West on 96.9 FM, Smooth Lake District on 100.1 FM and community based radio stations Cando FM [26] on 107.3 FM and Bay Trust Radio, a DAB station. [27]

The town's local newspapers are The Westmorland Gazette and North West Evening Mail. [28]

Twin towns[edit]

Ulverston is twinned with Albert in France.[29] They meet alternately at Easter each year to play football for the Cyril Barker Shield.[30]

In July 2016 Ulverston, as the birthplace of the film comedian Stan Laurel, was officially twinned with Harlem, Georgia, United States, birthplace of Laurel's screen partner Oliver Hardy.[31]


The Dickensian Festival, held the final weekend of November, sees a range of Christmas stalls and attractions visit Ulverston.[32] People often dress up for it in Victorian attire.

The many festivals held at Ulverston include:



Ulverston Rangers association football team has existed since 1945.[37] It currently plays in the West Lancashire Football League and the Furness Football League.

Rugby League[edit]

Ulverston Amateur Rugby League Football Club plays home games at Dragley Beck, it belongs to the North West Counties Rugby League. It has produced several professional rugby players, including Derek Hadley.

Other sports[edit]

The town's two field hockey clubs, South Lakes and Ulverston, are based at Ulverston Leisure Centre. The town regularly has events run by Lakeland Orienteering Club. A parkrun event has been held every Saturday at Ford Park since 2018.[38]

International links[edit]

The Royal Norwegian Honorary Consulate in Barrow-in-Furness, one of the numerous consulates of Norway, is actually located on the outskirts of Ulverston.[39]

The town of Ulverstone in Tasmania, Australia is named after Ulverston and likewise built at the mouth of a River Leven.

Freedom of the Town[edit]

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Town of Ulverston.


  • Peter Winston: 15 May 2019.[40]

Military units[edit]

Notable people[edit]

In alphabetical order:



Coat of arms of Ulverston
Out of a coronet composed of four roses Gules barbed and seeded Proper set upon a rim Or a demi wolf Sable breathing flames and gorged with a leather collar Proper buckled and pendent therefrom by a chain an escutcheon Gold charged with a ray of lightning throughout in bend also Gules surmounted of an ankh Vert and supporting a garb also Gold.[50]
Argent two bars Gules a pale Sable fretty of the first between two abbots' crosiers addorsed also Sable on a chief Azure an anchor between two fleurs-de-Lys Or.
Optimum Sufficit (Only The Best Is Enough)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Ulverston Parish (E04002655)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  2. ^ UK Census (2001). "Local Area Report – Ulverston Parish (16UG072)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  3. ^ A. D. Mills (2003). Dictionary of British Place Names. Oxford University Press. p. 475.
  4. ^ Viking Answer Lady. "Viking Answer Lady Webpage – Old Norse Men's Names". Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  5. ^ a b c Eilert Ekwall (1922). The Place-Names of Lancashire. Manchester University Press.
  6. ^ W. Rollinson, (1997), The Cumbrian Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition and Folklore, Smith Settle Ltd, p. 115.
  7. ^ "Index to the Parishes, Townships, Hamlets, and Places Contained Within the Districts of the Several County Courts in England and Wales. H.M. Stationery Office, 1888, p. 243". 21 October 1888.
  8. ^ "Ulverston, Cumbria". Visit Cumbria. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Ulverston Street Markets". South Lakeland District Council. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  10. ^ Frederic A. Youngs. Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Volume 2. Boydell & Brewer.
  11. ^ "Ulverston". Cumbria County History Trust. Retrieved 12 August 2018.
  12. ^ "Former drill hall including sergeant's house, administration and entrance blocks and boundary walling". Historic England. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ Cumbria Archives High Carley Hospital
  14. ^ "Statue honours Laurel and Hardy". BBC News. 19 April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2009.
  15. ^ "Tremor strikes north-west England". BBC News. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  16. ^ "Biggest earthquake in 174 years hits South Cumbria". North-West Evening Mail. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  17. ^ "Earthquake Shakes Buildings in Cumbria". Sky News. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  18. ^ "Ulverston Town Council".
  19. ^ "Laurel and Hardy Museum". lakedistrictletsgo.co.uk. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  20. ^ UK Attraction Hoad Monument
  21. ^ "Ofsted inspection report (2007)". Ofsted. 29 November 2007. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  22. ^ "Furness LPG – Ulverston primary schools list" (PDF). Cumbria County Council. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  23. ^ Schools Insight. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
  24. ^ "Winter Hill (Bolton, England) Full Freeview transmitter". May 2004.
  25. ^ "Lancaster (Lancashire, England) Full Freeview transmitter". May 2004.
  26. ^ https://candofm.co.uk/
  27. ^ "About – Bay Trust Radio".
  28. ^ "Local Newspapers for Cumbria and the Lake District".
  29. ^ "Ulverston-Albert Twinning Association | Ulverston Town Council". www.ulverstoncouncil.org.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  30. ^ "Bonjour from Blackpool Airport!". News Powered by Cision. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  31. ^ AP, Chris Thelen / (3 October 2008). "Ga. town keeps Laurel and Hardy's legacy alive". msnbc.com. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  32. ^ "Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival". Retrieved 9 October 2008.
  33. ^ "Another Fine Fest 2020 | 20th -21st June | Ulverston". www.anotherfinefest.co.uk.
  34. ^ "Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival is proud of their #dickfest". The Poke. 27 November 2015.
  35. ^ "Festival 2020". Furness Tradition.
  36. ^ "Retro Rendezvous – The Lake District Vintage Festival". Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  37. ^ "Football | GSK Sports". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  38. ^ "First Ulverston Parkrun gets off to perfect start". The Mail. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  39. ^ "The Norway Portal - Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Norgesportalen.
  40. ^ Thomas, Michael (15 May 2019). "Peter Winston makes history as first winner of Freedom of the Town award in Ulverston". The North West Evening Mail. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  41. ^ Tunningley, Allan (10 June 2010). "Regiment gets 'yes' in Ulverston freedom vote". The Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  42. ^ "The Duke of Lancaster's regiment receives town honour". BBC News. 7 May 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  43. ^ Tunningley, Allan (21 April 2015). "Freedom of the Town honour for Air Training Squadron". The Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  44. ^ Norman Birkett: The Life of Lord Birkett of Ulverston. ASIN 0140113452.
  45. ^ "Norman Gifford". cricinfo.com. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  46. ^ Ovens, Eleanor (27 April 2019). "Sax prodigy Jess Gillam returns to Ulverston to celebrate album launch". The Mail. Barrow-in-Furness. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  47. ^ "Bill Haley and his Comets". Classic Bands. Retrieved 18 January 2006.
  48. ^ "Feature Page of Francis Arthur Jefferson VC". Lancashire Fusiliers. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  49. ^ "Stan Laure l". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
  50. ^ "Ulverston Town Council (Cumbria)". Civic Heraldry of England. Retrieved 7 May 2022.

External links[edit]