Milnthorpe Past & Present

Milnthorpe originated c. 900AD as a Viking settlement and was named after a water mill on the River Bela. Combs are still manufactured here but hand loom weaving, once the main occupation, disappeared in the 19th century.

Being situated within a mile of the tidal Kent estuary, Milnthorpe was, famously, Westmorland’s only sea port. It was also a route centre for stage coaches before the arrival of the railway in 1846. In the 1950s, until the M6 was opened, the congestion at Milnthorpe’ cross roads was notoriously amongst the worst in the North West.

Milnthorpe’s Friday market was founded in 1334, while the village’s most prominent feature, situated on top of the hill, is St. Anthony’s Tower, which is a rare monument to the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act.

Around the village many Georgian and Victorian buildings are other reflections of the past. On the western outskirts glimpses of Dallam Tower, begun in 1720, and its deer park enhance Milnthorpe’s setting amongst the rolling landscape, which after a thousand years or more continues to be grazed by sheep and cattle.

There is a variety of shops and take-away establishments within the village including a Booths supermarket. There are three public houses, The Coach and Horses, The Cross Keys and The Bull’s Head with the latter two offering B&B accommodation.

In and around the village centre you will find a veterinary surgery, four solicitors’ practices, three estate agents, an optician, two doctors’ surgeries, a pharmacy, a butcher, a ladies and gents outfitters, four hairdressers, a bank, three ATMs and a newsagent which accommodates the post office.