“Exploring the Heritage of Barrow-in-Furness” celebrates the story of the town. Heritage plaques have been placed on some of the town’s buildings to explain their significance. The town trail provides a more detailed explanation of each building and gives visitors the chance to explore the town.
The trail starts at the Duke of Edinburgh Hotel & Bar, then moves along Abbey Road taking in, the Nan Tait Centre, Ramsden Hall and Lakeland House before arriving at the Custom House Bar & Restaurant. The final destination is a short walk away and can be seen from most places in Barrow Town Centre as it is the spectacular Town Hall.
The hotel became one of Barrow’s most prestigious hotels and its famous guests have included the author D.H. Lawrence who stayed in 1914 at the outbreak of WW1.
The hotel has been significantly restored and refurbished over the past decade. Guests can enjoy every comfort in the surroundings of this fine Victorian building.
This fine building has a distinctive design in red brick and terracotta. It was designed by Woodhouse and Willoughby for Barrow Corporation and opened as the town’s Technical School in August 1903.It has many beautiful features, including two panels of Grecian figures whose mottos emphasise the importance of learning.
The Technical School was to play a significant role for almost 70 years, providing people with the ever changing nature of the skills required by local industries.
The building was renamed in recognition of local councillor and former mayor, Nan Tait.
Above the doorway of this baths building there is an inscription: “Presented to the town by James Ramsden Esq., First Mayor”. Also in stonework, can be seen the ram’s head from his family’s coat of arms.
The building was officially handed to the town after the unveiling of the statue in Ramsden Square on 21st May 1872.
The baths building was used for five years and then became a school of art. Eventually it became a craft training annexe to the adjoining Technical School until its closure in 1970. It is currently used as a Citizens’ Advice Bureau.
This was once the site of Barrow’s Jute and Flax Works, which opened in 1874. James Ramsden was behind the scheme to provide work for women and girls, hoping that families might set up home in Barrow.
Lakeland Laundries started up in 1870 as the Barrow Steam Laundry and moved to this site in 1937. It was Barrow’s largest employer of female labour, with as many as 700 people working here in the 1940’s. It closed down in 1973.
In 1997 Lakeland House was acquired by Age UK Barrow and District, who provide services for residents over the age of 50.
This building was originally the Imperial Hotel and was built by Thomas Medley in 1866. It is the only example of Italianate architecture that can be found in the town centre.
The building was sold in 1872, becoming a custom house and general post office until the early 1900’s. The heritage of this beautiful building can be clearly seen at roof level in the bold lettering which reads: “CUSTOM HOUSE.”
After years of careful restoration, the building was converted to a bar, restaurant and leisure building for family activities.
This spectacular building stands proudly as a permanent reminder of the achievements of the town. It was built in the Gothic Revival style, using local red sandstone and roofed in Westmorland slate.
William Henry Lynn, an architect from Belfast, submitted his winning design in an open competition in 1877. Building began in 1882 and after some delays the building was completed in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
The opening ceremony on 14th July 1887 was a grand occasion. Thousands of people cheered as the Marquis of Hartington opened the Town Hall with a golden key.
Produced by the Barrow Civic & Local History Society in partnership with Barrow BID and Barrow Borough Council. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.