Millom & District Local History Society


The Society was formed at a public meeting held on 4th February 1972 at the Millom Centre, chaired by Mr Afonwy Davis, District Librarian.

The formation came about as a result of a series of five "Looking Back" lectures held at the Centre the year before. These lectures generated enough interest that 50 people attended the open meeting and formed the Society.

Original committee members included: Mr. Alfonwy Davis (voted Chair), Mr S.F. Killick (voted secretary), Mrs E. Hackett, Mr .E. Bryer, Mrs J.H. Smith, Mrs I. Troll, Miss C. Simpson, Mr W.E. Cowper Johnson. Mr.J.W. Ainsworth of Midland Bank Millom co-opted as Treasurer.

Ideas for lectures included: Millom Town, Millom Castle, Mills, Shipping, Furness Railway, Folk Lore, Place Names, Personal Names, Stone Circles, Land Use, Quarries and the tapping of memories of the older inhabitants. It was felt courses of lectures and visits to places of interest would appeal to all.

Over the years many talks have been given and visits to places of interest. Jane and Colin Micklethwaite were stalwarts for twelve years but ceased their involvement in 2019; we thank them for keeping the Society going for so long. There were a couple more successful events then along came covid.

Roman Millom

Jonathan Powell kept the flame alight when, in response to a paper Roman Millom and a video Roman Millom presented by Jan Bridget, he suggested an event at Holy Trinity Church which the Millom and District Local History Group would support.

An event was organised by Jan, church wardens Margaret and Geoff, and local historian Duane Farren. Speakers included Steve Welsh from Todmorden who was dressed as a Roman legionnaire and spoke about what it would have been like being a legionnaire in Northern Britain including his armour and weaponry.

Jan gave an overview of the research paper she had written: it seems prior to 20th century it was commonly accepted the Romans landed in Millom at the Gallow's Stone having crossed the Duddon Sands, Furness Peninsula and Morecambe Bay from Lancaster; they then went up to Ravenglass. However, along came another historian who challenged this view and, in a nutshell, the belief was overturned. That the Romans landed in Millom was cast out and forgotten until metal detectorist Josh Carr recently found a silver Roman coin and a bronze Roman brooch. Local historian Duane Farren, amongst others, had also found several Roman artefacts.

Both Duane and Josh talked about their findings and around 50 - yes 50 - artefacts, most of which were Roman, were displayed.

The final speaker was Daniel Elsworth, archaeologist from Ulverston who talked about the Romans in Furness and shared more recent Roman artefacts found in Furness. The essence of the talks have been presented in Roman Millom II.

The event was over subscibed, being attended by 120 people. A second event was organised in October when a further 60 people attended. These events proved that the people of Millom and surrounds were still interested in the history of the area - which Duane Farren can vouch for as many people have attended the history walks and talks he has given over the years and displayed his various finds from Neolithic up to Victorian times. In fact Duane has played a major role in keeping the history of Millom alive.

Local History Society Rekindled

The enthusiasm garnered from these two events has led to the Millom and District Local History Society being relaunched. The AGM was held on 30th November 2021 at which the Constitution was amended to include an Object making it clear the Society could "acquire funding to commission relevant geophysical surveys and archaeological digs within Millom and its surrounding areas."

Our current committee includes: chair, Jan Bridget; secretary/treasurer, Liz North plus Jonathan Powell, Geoff and Margaret Edmondson. Instead of the usual monthly talks we are having occasional half day events which, so far, have been fairly successful (see Programme section). We also have several projects on the go (see Projects section). We try and keep folk up-to-date both via the News section as well as our Facebook group which now has nearly 1,300 members.

Annual Report 2021-2022.

Annual Report 2022-2023 and here is a link to the Powerpoint for the AGM 2022-2023.

Contact details:

Chair: 01229 343151

General Enquiries

Here is a link to our Facebook page.

Useful Links

Archaeological Geophysics: A Short Guide
Archaeology Data Service (Archsearch + Library)
Barrow Archives
Beacon Museum
British Association for Local History
British History on Line
Bygone Teesdale Folk
Civil Parishes in Cumbria
Cumbria Archives
Cumbria County History Trust
Cumbria Family History Society
Cumbria Historic Environment Record
Cumbria Industrial History
Cumbria Local History Federation
Cumbrian Manorial Records
Cumbrian Lives
Cumbria Past
Cumbrian Railways Association
Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group
Dig Ventures
Dock Museum
Duddon Valley Local History Group
English Heritage
English Place-Name Society
Google Earth
Historic England: Aerial Photo Explorer
Historic England: Aerial Archaeology Mapping Explorer
Historic England: Grid Finder
Historic England: Lidar
History Extra podcast
House Prices Lidar
Huddleston Papers
Kendal Archives
Lake District National Park: Archaeology and History
Lancashire Archives
Megalithic Portal
Millom and Haverigg Civic Society
Millom Castle
Millom Heritage and Arts Centre
Millom Mining Heritage
Millom Miscellanea
Morecambe Bay Partnership
National Council for Metal Detecting
Norman Nicholson Society
North West England Regional Research Framework
Old Cumbria Gazeteer
Old West Cumbria
Ordnance Survey Maps
Portable Antiquties Scheme
Research Frameworks
Roman Cumbria
Roman Finds Group
Roman Roads Research Association
Rum Butter
Rural Historia
The Past
Tullie House
Waberthwaite Local History Group
West Cumbria Archaeological Society
Whitehaven Archive
Wikipedia: History of Millom