Peile & Nicholson Directory of Whitehaven 1864


St. Bees is a township and a large village, situated in a deep valley, 4 ½ miles south from Whitehaven, near the rocky promontory called St. Bees Head; it is in the Allerdale Ward above Derwent, union of Whitehaven, and diocese of Carlisle. It is the largest parish in the county, embracing the town of Whitehaven, the chapelries of Ennerdale, Eskdale, Hensingham, Nether Wasdale, and Wasdale Head; and is divided into 13 townships, extending over 70,000 acres. The chapelry of Loweswater also pays a small tribute to St. Bees, as the mother-church.

The parish is of very irregular form, and extends ten miles along the coast from Braystones, near Beckermont, to Whitehaven, whence it stretches inland in a southerly-easterly direction to Eskdale, a distance of about 18 miles. The land in nearly every part of the parish is high, bare of wood, but the soil towards the sea is fertile, and abounds with coal, freestone and limestone. The village is pleasantly situated, and many people resort here in the summer season.

There are two good hotels; one called the Sea Cote Hotel, near the sea, and a short distance from the village, is provided with warm sea-water baths, and other requisites necessary for visitors. There are also bathing machines on the beach. The village consists of principally one long street, and several terraces of good houses. It has from early times been distinguished for its religious and scholastic foundations, having been the seat of a monastry from a very remote period, and is at present celebrated for its college and grammar school. The college is for the instruction of candidates for holy orders within the province of York. It was established in 1817, by the Right rev. G. H. LAW, D. D., then Bishop of Chester, and the Earl of Lonsdale. The choir of the priory church, which had been roofless for upwards of two centuries, has been fitted up for the purpose at the expense of the Earl. Bishop LAW gave £200, and procured from Queen Anne’s Bounty the sum of £300, to build the house for the principal. Besides the principal, there are three officers of the college, viz., a tutor and two…

Continued on Page 42
Page 41