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Friday, 31 October 2014

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On the trail of Cockermouth’s watermills

A booklet and a guide celebrating Cockermouth’s watermills have been produced by the town council and the team who led archaeological digs last year.

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HISTORY TRAIL: With the new guides to Cockermouth’s mills are, from left, town councillors Stephen Coates, Julie Laidlow, Alan Smith, mayor Christine Smith, Sheila Brown, town clerk, and Eric Nicholson

The council and NP Archaeology have produced The Watermills of Cockermouth, an illustrated historical account of the mill industry in the town.

They have also produced the Cockermouth Mill Trail guide, which will encourage tourists and townspeople to explore 25 points of interest.

Sites include Fitz Mill, which was demolished in 1980, Derwent Mills, which closed in the early 1990s, Wharton’s Woollen Mill, which ran alongside the banks of the River Derwent, and Rubbybanks Mill, which is believed to have been in existence since the 1500s.

Sheila Brown, town clerk, said: “Following the floods in 2009, Cockermouth Town Council was successful in obtaining a Heritage Lottery Grant to develop an archaeological project centred on the Mill Race and water mill sites around Cockermouth.

“Both publications will assist in exploring the mills of the town in a pleasant and informative way.”

NP Archaeology carried out digs behind the Lakes Home Centre and in the Memorial Gardens last year.

Copies of the booklet and guide are in local schools, hotels, bed and breakfasts, the library on Main Street and other organisations. They are available free from the Tourist Information Centre in the Town Hall.

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