The peaceful and pretty market town of Cockermouth is just a short drive from The Pheasant Inn, and it's packed with activities for our guests. Cockermouth's slight west location means it can be overlooked by tourists but don't let this fascinating place pass you by! Here are just some of the fun facts we love about our local town:
1. It's a gem of a place
Not just in our eyes - Cockermouth is only one of 51 towns in Great Britain to be crowned a ‘gem town’ by the Council for British Archeology. This means Cockermouth’s historic buildings are preserved by the State as part of Britain’s national heritage.
2. It was home to a famous mutineer
Did you know the man responsible for 'mutiny on the Bounty' was born in Cockermouth? Fletcher Christian was master’s mate on the HMS Bounty when it sailed to the West Indies in 1787. He famously seized control of the ship, setting its Captain William Bligh and crew adrift while he and his mutineers scattered and settled on Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean. Descendants of the mutineers still live on Pitcairn today but Fletcher Christian’s final fate was unknown…
3. The Lake District’s famous poet grew up in Cockermouth
The poet who called the Lake District ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found’ was born in Cockermouth. William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy grew up in a beautiful house on Main Street in the 1770s and today the National Trust property is open to the public as Wordsworth House. Visit this spring to see the heritage walled garden in all its colourful glory and hear talks about William and Dorothy’s Cockermouth childhood.
4. It has links to the atomic theory
As well as inspiring romantic poetry, Cockermouth shaped a major scientific mind too. John Dalton was born in nearby village Eaglesfield in 1766; he became a lecturer in maths and philosophy in Manchester and developed his atomic theory that now forms the basis of modern particle physics. A long distance walk between Cockermouth and Seascale was plotted in 2016 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Dalton’s birth.
5. When disaster hit, it survived and thrived
In November 2009 Cockermouth’s businesses, homes and local attractions were devastated by the heaviest rainfall in British history. But out of the flood disaster came determination and community spirit as Cockermouth residents came together to restore their beautiful town, and today the centre is thriving and prettier than ever.
6. It commemorates a fallen politician
One of the most striking structures in Cockermouth town centre is a marble statue of Richard Bourke, the 6th Earl of Mayo. Mayo represented Cockermouth in British parliament from 1857 t0 1868, before being appointed the Viceroy of India in 1869. He was sadly assassinated when he visited a convict settlement in the Andaman Islands - the memorial statue was unveiled in Cockermouth in 1875 and it still stands proud today.
7. It’s a great place to enjoy a tipple
The Cockermouth area is home to not one but two drinks businesses, and the best news is both are open to the public for tipple tours. The Jennings Brewery is one for fans of real ale, located near Cockermouth Castle with an on site pub to sample its British ales. And down the road near Bassenthwaite is the Lakes Distillery, England’s largest whisky distillery with regular tours and guided tastings of its malts, gins and vodka. Cheers!