Barrow monument, Ulverston

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Hoad Hill

Away in Cumbria for a few days between Christmas and New Year, I visited the monument to Sir John Barrow, Second Secretary to the Admiralty for 40 years between 1804 and 1845, and apparently the first person to stay in a senior civil service post through a change of governing party, having been briefly out of the post in 1806-7 while a Whig government was in power, but specifically asked to stay in when they took power again in 1830.

After the Napoleonic Wars, with a new purpose needed for the navy, Barrow became a great promoter of Arctic exploratio, with the Barrow Strait in Northern Canada named after him, as well as the northernmost point of Alaska.

The monument is based on the third Eddystone lighthouse, but has never actually had a light, although it is visible from the sea and used as a mark.

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Barrow Monument

It was built in 1850, two years after Barrow’s death, with the foundation stone laid by his sons. The coat of arms in presumably his – it seems to be the Barrow family crest with an added hand. I like the squirrel sitting on top!

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Barrow monument plaque

There wasn’t much of a view when I was up there – the high hills were just about visible as whiter shapes in the grey – but it must have a pretty good one on good days. The line of the old shipping canal is visible as a straight line towards the right here, splitting from the curved line of the railway at the right of the picture – the site of the monument was chosen to be visible from the canal and the bay.

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Ulverston sands
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