Ravenglass


photo by europealacarte

There is only one coastal town in the whole of the Lake District National Park. It is Ravenglass. Ravenglass is a small coastal village in Cumbria, England. It is situated at the estuary of three rivers – the Esk, Mite and Irt.

History has references to Ravenglass as far back as the 2nd century. It served as an important naval base for the Romans. It was then known as Glannaventa. It was the southernmost top of the Cumbrian marine force or the coastal defence system, an extension of the Hadrian’s Wall which was connected by a long continuous chain of forts and watchtowers. Romans occupied Ravenglass for more than 300 years and they had a garrison of over 500 soldiers stationed there. The town served as a regional supply point for the major portion of the Rome occupied north western Britain. There was a Roman road all the way from Ravenglass over the Hardknott Pass to the Roman fort at Ambleside. This town is referenced by the name Clannoventa in the Merlin trilogy of Mary Stewart. Today the remnants of the Roman occupation are very few. The notable remains is a bath-house which is known by the name Walls Castle. This is one of the few remaining Roman structures in England and covers an area of 3600 sq.ft and walls which go up to 12 feet in height. This is now a heritage site and is maintained by the English Heritage.

King John granted Richard De Lucy in 1208, who was the then Earl of Egremont a charter for a weekly Saturday market at Ravenglass and an yearly fair on August 5th a day that marks the festival of St. James.

Ravenglass is connected to the rest of the world by the A595 bypass road and the Ravenglass railway line which is part of the Cumbrian Coast Railway line. It is also a destination point for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Narrow Guage Railway, a popular tourist attraction.