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Port Carlisle, Cumbria

community group

The impetus for this project came from the local residents of Port Carlisle who would like to celebrate and share the history of their village with a wider audience; in particular the 19th and 20th century industrial development of Port Carlisle.

Over a period of 18 months, we have been working with local residents to analyse the Conservation Area of Port Carlisle; looking at its historic development, significance, key built and natural features, views, vistas, public spaces, as well as possible opportunities for enhancement. This research and analysis has been drawn together into a Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Plan, with the aim of it then becoming adopted by Allerdale Borough Council as Supplementary Planning Guidance. We are helping local residents celebrate and share the distinctiveness of Port Carlisle with a wider audience, especially its contribution to the World Heritage Site.

In being the UK pilot for a new Europa Nostra Project called ‘ENtopia’ (‘Our Places in Europe’) that will implement proposals including interpretation panels for key sites in the village and holding open days for visitors to learn more about the heritage of the village.

ENtopia is a Europa Nostra initiative which aims to help local residents celebrate the qualities and heritage, both tangible and intangible, of their towns and villages. The inclusion of Port Carlisle will help to raise the profile of not only the village, but also the Solway AONB and the work of the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership. Through participation in the ENtopia project community led action in the historic environment will be given a higher profile and there will be international recognition for a small village with a disproportionate amount of heritage.

community heritage day 30th January 2016

A very interesting day was had by all those who attended the event held in the chapel at Port Carlisle. Many people were inspired to learn more about their local area and become involved with the project.

Following on from this event, we are now working on the production of long lasting interpretation to inform members of the public about the structures and history of the village. During this project villagers have unearthed some very interesting images of activities and some of these will be featured in an interpretation panel to be placed in the village centre for all to enjoy.

gathering historic information - the work continues throughout 2016

Over the spring and summer of 2016 villagers learned how to research in the local archives and many interesting photographs and family stories were uncovered, as well as information on how and why the canal came to be built at Port Carlisle. A community led conservation area character appraisal was carried out, and this will be submitted to Allerdale Borough Council and become part of the planning documentation for the area. The research has led to an interpretation panel being commissioned and installed in the village, which will enable the story of this small but important village to be passed on to the many walkers, bird watchers and other visitors to the area.

Celebrate! event 7th and 8th April 2017

A weekend of events was held early in April, as the culmination of this project. The events included the official unveiling of the new interpretation panel, a talk by local historian David Ramshaw, exhibition of local maps and photographs in the chapel as well as a village trail, childrens pirate party, magician, face painting and a band. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the weather was glorious too.