Welcome to the history of
Ireleth and Askam-in-Furness

This site is devoted to the history of Ireleth and Askam, two villages on the Furness peninsula on the west coast of Cumbria (formerly Lancashire), England.

Ireleth and Askam have developed along the A595 road to form one single large community, but the two villages have very different pasts. Ireleth has links to Manx Vikings, Furness Abbey and the sands route across the Duddon Estuary to Millom. The origins of Askam lie in the massive Park iron ore deposit, discovered in the mid-nineteenth century, and the ore's exploitation and processing.

The history section of this site is from the book A Short History of Ireleth and Askam-in-Furness, written and published by Mark MacLean (now out of print). Click 'the history' at the top of the page for more information.

Many of the photos in the pictures section have been donated by members of the community to the Askam & Ireleth History Society. These will be added to regularly, so keep checking this page.

I hope to add audio files to the site in the future, and as a trial I've put a short (less than two minute) snippet of an interview I carried out with the late George Jones, of Hollowgate Road, Ireleth, in August 1996. I'm still learning about how best to digitize my old cassette tapes, trying to make sure that I don't sacrifice quality for file size, so please bear with me. Click on "GeorgeJones" to hear the sound file, and please email me with feedback about how well it worked (or didn't).

Where in the world . . .?
Map of England

A map of medieval England and Wales c.1399, taken from Muir's New School Atlas of Universal History. The white circle shows the location of the Furness peninsula.

Ireleth and Askam map

A more recent map showing Askam and Ireleth's position on the west coast of the Furness peninsula. This map was produced by (and copyright of) Ordnance Survey for the Duddon Estuary Partnership. And finally, below, a more recent Google Earth image of the two villages.

Google Earth