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heritage of whitehaven...

The re-vamped Beacon is a showpiece for the town's seafaring and mining heritage and provides stunning views over the harbour area. Around the corner is the Haig Colliery Mining Museum, a tribute to the importance and tragedy of extracting coal from under the sea. Elsewhere, The Rum Story uncorks the history of Jefferson's rum - how it was made and its links to Whitehaven's maritime trade.

The Beacon 

From top to bottom, this award-winning museum is a voyage of discovery, with four floors devoted to Whitehaven's maritime, industrial and social heritage, and special exhibits on mining, shipbuilding and the town's links with America. The 4th floor observation gallery provides panoramic views over the historic harbour. more information

The Rum Story 

This award-winning attraction, set in the original bonded cellars, office and courtyard of the Jefferson family, graphically describes the process of making rum and its associations with the slave trade. Journey through the tropical rainforests of Antigua, visit the sugarcane plantations and peer into the original underground cellars that once stored rum and other imported goods. Courtyard café and shop. Fully accessible for wheelchairs. more information

Haig Colliery Mining Museum

Haig Colliery was the last deep coal mine to close in the area (1986) and opened as a museum in 1999. The centrepiece is the only working Bever Dorling winding engine in the world, which was used to lower the miners' cage down the shaft. Exhibits and photographic displays document the long history of coal mining in the area. more information

St James' Church 

A plain looking exterior hides an exquisite Georgian interior - one of the finest in the country. The church was built in 1753 during Whitehaven's boom years to reflect the town's prosperity in its interior. The designer was Carlisle Spedding, a mining engineer in charge of the Whitehaven collieries.

St Nicholas' Church 

After a disastrous fire in August 1971, most of this fine sandstone church was demolished apart from the tower, the base of which now functions as a tearoom with adjacent prayer chapel. A narrow spiral staircase provides access to the tower and the visible workings of a complicated clock mechanism. Outside, a decorative mosaic in the shape of a pit wheel was laid in memory of the 1200 men, women and children who lost their lives in the Whitehaven collieries between 1597 and 1987, and a separate monument records the names of children who tragically died whilst working in the mines.

Whitehaven Walks

Series of three self-guided town trails covering architecture, the harbour area, and maritime and mining. Available from Whitehaven Tourist Information Centre and The Beacon.

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