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Harrington, Cumbria

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Title: Harrington, Cumbria  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Cumbria, Workington, Cumberland, Harrington, Cumbrian Coast Line, List of places in Cumbria, Harrington railway station, Ennerdale Rural District, Salterbeck, Rowrah
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Harrington, Cumbria

Coordinates: 54°36′43″N 3°33′54″W / 54.612°N 3.565°W / 54.612; -3.565

Population 2,967 (Ward, 2001)
OS grid reference NX985255
District Allerdale
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CA14
Dialling code 01946
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Workington
List of places

Harrington is on the Cumbrian coast south of Workington and north of Whitehaven. Its industrial history, which largely ended in the late 1930s, included an iron works, coal mining, and steel making. It once had five railway stations. It still has one station, on the Cumbrian Coast Line, near the harbour.

Today, with a population of about 3000,[1] it is largely a dormitory town for the employees of the shops and offices and light industry found in Workington and Whitehaven, and also British Nuclear Fuels down the coast at Sellafield.

The parish consists of Harrington itself, High Harrington, and Salterbeck, which is a large housing estate on the Workington side of the parish.


The name Harrington, is derived from three Anglo-Saxon words; Har or Harr (a man's name), ingas (people) and ton (settlement/estate/enclosure). The original settlers were a group of people whose leader called himself Har. The original inhabitants of land would have called themselves Haringas (Har's people) and the settlement Haringa tun (estate of the Haringas). Other local place names with similar origins would be Workington, Distington and Frizington.

In 1760, Henry Curwen built a quay at Harrington on the south side of the River Wyre. Coal and limestone were soon being exported from Harrington, and the increase in trade led to the development of the local shipbuilding industry. A decline in manufacturing industry saw the harbour's usage drop dramatically during the latter part of the 19th century.

Eventually the harbour was sealed off and used as a reservoir for a nearby magnesium works. The secret "Magnesite" plant at Harrington was set up during World War II by the Ministry of Aircraft Production to extract magnesium from seawater, for use in aircraft components and incendiary bombs. At the time it was one of only two plants in the country, making some 40,000 long tons (41,000 t) per annum.

The harbour now has a new lease of life as a facility for leisure, with the scope to grow the marine sector in the Northwest.


Harrington had many churches, and four remain as churches today. At St Mary's church there are recent stained-glass windows, which show much of the industrial and maritime heritage of the area, including images of the latest industry - wind farming. Wind farms are springing up all along the coast, south and north of Workington.

Cycle network

The West Cumbria Cycle Network passes through Harrington on its way from Distington to Workington. It uses the route of the former Cleator and Workington Junction Railway which served High Harrington Station (54°36′54″N 3°33′03″W / 54.6150°N 3.5507°W / 54.6150; -3.5507 (High Harrington railway station)).

External links

  • Cumbria County History Trust: Harrington (nb: provisional research only - see Talk page)
  • St Mary's Church
  • Harrington History Group
Cumbria portal


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