The Port of Ravenglass, Eskdale, Cumbria
On the coast of Cumbria in the shadows of the Lake District, at the mouth of Eskdale can be found the Port of Ravenglass. It is on the River Esk where it merges with the two smaller rivers of the Mite and Irt, where they all flow into the Irish Sea at the northern extremities of Morecambe Bay.
Today it doesn’t look much like a Port but it was once a very busy location for shipping. That was of course in the days when boats were driven at high tide onto the flat beach. Then at low tide cargo would be unloaded and loaded from carts drawn alongside each vessel.
The list of commodities that passed through Ravenglass was broad, mineral, agriculture and livestock….. but the main cargo was Slate from those Lakeland Fells. Slate was much in demand and Lakeland Slate was high quality and much sought after, so business was big and profitable. As time went by, the demand for Slate was such, that a narrow gauge steam railway was built to bring the Slate from the hills down to Ravenglass.
A rusty anchor, the odd chain and a few wooden posts are the only clue to this former existence…..that is apart from the Steam Railway.
It is affectionately known as ” The Ratty “…. The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway. It runs a daily service along the length of Eskdale,with various stations on route, between Dalegarth at the head of Eskdale down to here to the village of Ravenglass.
Ravenglass is a little village where time appears to have stood still…well worth a visit and maybe a trip on the Ratty!
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020