Millom, which is a small town on the Duddon estuary in the south west corner of the Lake District which sits below the mass of Black Combe, was in Victorian times a small hamlet with the name of Holborn Hill. This was once an important place for those who wanted to cross the Duddon estuary for travels further up the Cumbrian coast. During the early 12th century Millom’s castle was built by Godard de Boyvill.
Holborn Hill was renamed Millom, in honour of Arthur de Millom, who was Godard de Boyvill’s ancestor, who came to live and give his name to Millom Castle. Joan, wife of John Huddleston, was the last of the family line to live here during the reign of Henry III. The Huddleston family possessed this castle for over 500 years. King Edward III granted the owners permission in 1335 to fortify the castle, unfortunately in 1648 it was badly damaged by canon fire during the Civil War. The estate was sold to Sir James Lowther in 1774 and although the castle is now in ruins, the estate still operates as a private working farm which dates back to the 16th century.
Millom was made famous by the discovery of iron ore in Hodbarrow in the 1800’s, this lively town boomed well into the 20th century until the iron works closed in 1968. Hodbarrow, which is now flooded and surrounded by a sea wall, acts as a nature reserve. Millom’s seaside location has been a perfect area for water sports, which was made possible due to a sea wall that crumbled and left a 200 acre recreational lake for the town. This lake has been approved for competition. Millon, which is steeped in history, has a Folk Museum at the same station where steam trains and now modern trains still make stops at the same platform. The museum has a full scale reconstruction of a drift from the nearby Hodbarrow iron ore mine, replicas of a miner’s cottage kitchen and a blacksmith’s forge and information about the local poet, Norman Nicholson.