Central Housing Office, Cavendish House, 78 Duke Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (01229) 894912 Dalton Housing Office, Dalton Town Hall, Station Road, Dalton-in-Furness, Cumbria (01229) 897900 Ormsgill Housing Office, 34 Middle Field, Ormsgill, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (01229) 894757 Roosegate Housing Office, The Old Police Station, 182 Roose Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria (01229) 894774 Office Opening Hours: Central and Dalton Housing Offices are open from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm Friday. 

Ormsgill and Roosegate Housing Offices are open from 9am to 4.30pm, Monday and Wednesday, and 9am to 4pm Friday. (NB: All the Housing Offices, except Central, are closed for lunch from 12noon to 1pm). By Fax: (01229) 894736 By Email: 


The following is summarised from information provided by Alice Leach, Barrow-in-Furness Civic & Local History Society
(web site: 
On this page:

From Barrai to Barrow - By Alice Leach

Like many other Low Furness villages, Barrow was founded as a grange or home farm by the Cistercian monks of Furness Abbey. First mentioned in monastic records in 1190, the grange of Barrai was situated close to the site occupied by William Fisher's 19th century farm (see No 7 of Barrow Village plan).

Granges consisted of a normal range of farm buildings albeit on a larger scale. One or possibly more large barns were used for storage and there was often a dovecote. There would have been animal sheds and there may have been fishponds or a mill. Lay brothers from the monastery worked alongside locals on these granges. According to Mick Aston, writing in "Monasteries in the Landscape", the monks' land "was intermixed in common field systems with that of the villagers and the grange was an integral part of the village structure. The historical definition of a grange tends to reflect the former a consolidated block of land from which all common rights have been excluded while the archaeological viewpoint sees granges as groups of buildings from which an estate was worked, regardless of the style of landholding".

For a map of Furness Abbey granges see the English Heritage Furness Abbey guide book 1998, and illuminated slides, displayed at Furness Abbey Museum.

! A reconstruction of the grange at Dean Court Farm, Oxfordshire, based on the evidence recovered from recent excavations by Tim Allen and the Oxford Archaeological Unit. The grange belonged to Abingdon Abbey and is reproduced on p130 "Monasteries and the Landscape" by Mick Aston. The illustration is by Harry Lange, amended by Daniel Ray, Oxford Archaeological Unit.

The image is reproduced here by kind permission of Tim Allen and the Oxford Archaeological Unit, and Harry Lange.
See larger version of grange drawing. (gif 28kb).

Barrow Village, Plan of Owners and Occupiers, 1843 - Summary by W.B. Kendall

The following information relates to the plan of the Village of Barrow, 1843, based on the original surveys by W.B. Kendall C.E.

Until about the year 1780 the village of Barrow consisted of five farm-houses with the usual out-buildings, numbered respectively on the plan 1, 4, 7, 18 and 26. A sixth farm-house, which had stood near the house No 14 on the plan, was pulled down about the middle of the 18th century when Lord Cavendish acquired the estate.

Originally the Monks established eight homesteads at Barrow, two of which occupying sites near the cottages numbered 10 and 21 on the plan respectively, were rebuilt at Hindpool soon after the dissolution of the Monastery.

Besides the five farm-houses there was the house numbered 20, afterwards known as the 'Ship Inn', and two cottages; eight houses in all.

Iron ore was not exported from Barrow till the year 1745 when the Backbarrow Iron Company began occasionally to ship ore here; but no great quantity was shipped till the year 1782 when the Newland Iron Company made Barrow their principal shipping port.

About that time one or two additional cottages were provided for ore-loaders, and before the close of the 18th century, a grocer's shop and general store had been established in the village.

Early in the 19th century a larger grocer's shop was built, and at this period we find also a tailor, tide-waiter, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, and a pilot in the place, while a blacksmith attended from Hawcoat twice a week.

In 1801 the number of dwelling houses in the village was eleven. Twenty-one years later we find that a resident blacksmith, a butcher, and a shoemaker had been added to the population, a malt-kiln had been built, and the number of dwellings had increased to twenty.

In 1843, after the lapse of another twenty-one years, the number of houses was twenty-eight.

In 1842 a lease of the Ore yard was granted to John Schneider and others and in 1845 the site of the Old Railway Station, including the foreshore was acquired by the Furness Railway Company. In 1846 John Paxton sold the field behind Rabbit Hill, afterwards the site of St George's Church and Vicarage, and part of the Schools and schoolyard as far as the back of the 'Queen's Arms' to John Whitwell of Kendal, who sold the site of the Bank and the 'Harbour Hotel' in 1850, and soon afterwards conveyed the rest of the field to R W Lumley by whom it was conveyed to the Furness Railway Company and by them to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

In November, 1854, David Rigby Stables entered upon the 'Harbour Hotel'.

Barrow Harbour, from the east, showing the method of loading iron ore, from a water colour by Mrs. Michaelson. From Barrow in-Furness (1881) its history, development, commerce, industries, and institutions, by J.Richardson. The original Michaelson paintings are stored in the Dock Museum.
See larger version of Barrow Harbour painting. (jpg 20kb).

Barrow Village by Alice Leach 2005

William Fisher of Barrow Village.

"The Packman" (in Fishers Yard), sketch by James Askew.

The most important man in Barrow Village (late 18th century to late 19th century) was William Fisher. He was born in Barrow Village in 1775 and died in 1861; he was a Low Furness yeoman farmer ie a wealthy worker of the land. From 1811 - 1859 he kept a diary of local events: births, marriages and deaths - the 'hatchings, matchings and dispatches' column of today's Evening Mail. He also recorded seed and harvest times, catastrophes and commonplace events. 

The diary is important because it gives us interesting glimpses of how the villagers of this small farming community used to live during a vibrant period of the area's history; during the 48 years covered by the diary the village of Barrow grew into the industrial town of Barrow, which was founded on the wealth from the red haematite iron ore of Furness and the slate of Kirkby.

The Tithe Commution Schedule for Dalton-in-Furness 1842 shows that William Fisher's farm consisted of slightly more than 85 acres; his arable crops were grown on land near the Town Hall and Schneider Square area and probably his orchards, gardens and cow sheds were sited on land now occupied by the doctor's surgery, the Alfred Barrow School and the car park (opposite).

The Diary of William Fisher of Barrow 1811 - 1859 is owned by the Rowlandson family from Ulverston, but thanks to their generosity the Fisher manuscrips is housed in Cumbria Record Office, Ramsden Square, where it is on permanent loan. The diary was published by the Centre for North-West Regional Studies, University of Lancaster as an Occasional Paper No 15 in 1986 and edited by the late Dr W Rollinson and former archivist, Brett Harrison. 

Further Information

If you wish to know more about the history of Barrow you can visit Barrow Library and Archive Service, or The Dock Museum.
Barrow Borough Council's online mapping service 

(www.barrowbc.gov.uk/mapping) provides current and historical maps of the Borough.

Links to Local Community Web sites:

Barrow Civic & Local History Society can be contacted through:

Alice Leach,
2 Castle Street,
LA15 8BB.