History of Lindal & Marton

A village community at the heart of Furness


Parish Council

Barrow-in-Furness in the Early 1900s

Steelworks from Walney Bridge

The dramatic growth of Barrow-in-Furness in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries was fuelled by the ready availability of Furness iron ore. Significant investments were made in developing the town to exploit this resource. The various ironworks, steelworks, foundries, shipyards and docks required a huge influx of population to support them. This in turn led to the rapid building of rows of good quality mass-produced terraced housing for the workers, and substantial sandstone villas for the management. The Barrow pioneers created wide tree-lined streets, imposing public buildings, extensive dock systems, and an efficient public transport system.

It has been said of Barrow, "a rich mineral district was the cause, a railway was the effect, and an important manufacturing town the result".

Barrow Iron Industries

These postcards illustrate the iron-related industries in Barrow in the early 1900s, and give some idea of their scale. Almost every family in the town would have derived income from one or more of these industrial undertakings. This made Barrow people very dependent on their continued existence, and particularly vulnerable when markets collapsed, as they periodically did.

Messrs. Vickers. Ltd. Naval Construction Works from the air
Devonshire Dock, Barrow-in-Furness
Vickers Iron Foundry

Barrow Town and Infrastructure

These postcards illustrate Barrow's streets and public transport in the early 1900s. The Jubilee Bridge connecting Barrow Island with Walney Island opened in 1908 as a toll bridge, replacing the ferry which was struggling to cope with Walney's rising population. Steam trams ran in Barrow from 1881. The tram system was electrified in 1904, and was finally decommissioned in favour of buses in 1932. You can see ironworks and shipyard buildings in the background of several of the pictures. Sometimes the distinction between town and industry isn't very clear!

General view of Barrow-in-Furness from the air
Town Hall, Barrow-in-Furness
New Gaiety Picturedrome Dalton Road Ship Street, a good drying day
Roose Furness Railway, General Offices & Works Abbots Wood, Furness Abbey

The picture of "Steelworks from Walney Bridge" at the top of this page is from the Taxi Tales website, where you will find many more historical and recent photographs of Barrow.

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