19th Century Carnforth

Carnforth was destined to change dramatically, at the start of the 19th Century Carnforth was a small village on the road north, scattered on what today is north road and centered on the junction with Kellet Road around the Shovel Inn. By the end of the Century it would have grown into a small industrial town with a shopping centre and an important railway junction between the main London Glasgow line and the lines to Barrow Leeds, how did this happen?



Carnforth Canal BasinTurnpikes and Canal

Just before the beginning of the 19th Century two major changes can to Carnforth that of the Turnpikes and the Canal. The southern section of the Lancaster Canal was constructed just to the east of Carnforth, passing under Carnforth bridge on Kellet Road just yards from the then village centre opening in 1797. Carnforth was now connected by waterway to Lancaster & Preston, it took another few years to 1812 before the section from Tewitfield just north of Carnforth to Kendal was completed. Carnforth was deemed important enough to be given its own basin to the south of the village which still exists just of the A6 today.

The Turnpikes came to Carnforth in 1751 in the form of the Garstang & Heiring syke trust who where given the responsibility of keeping the then main road through Carnforth today's Lancaster Road/North Road in good repair. In 1817 a new Turnpike was proposed from Carnforth via Milnthorpe & Levens bridge along today's A6 then through to Ulverston along today's A590. Originally it was planned to start from Millhead Warton, however in the event the new road was taken straight north out of Carnforth along today's A6 likely built as a joint venture between the Ulverston & Carnforth trust and the Garstang and Heiring Syke trust who abandoned there old route along North Road in favour of the new road.


Carnforth StationRailways & New Industries

Mention of Carnforth would not be complete without the railways. In 1846 a new line opened from Lancaster to Carlisle, Carnforth been given a small halt on the site of the present Station. In 1857 the Ulverston & Lancaster opened a single track line from Ulverston to meet the Lancaster & Carlisle at Carnforth. Carnforth station became a small junction. These two lines where taken over by larger companies the Furness & London & North Western. the Furness along with the Midland built a line to Wennington junction to connect with Leeds. New loco depots along with a new station made Carnforth into a major Railway Centre.

With the railways came new industries notably the smelting of Iron and Steel. All these new companies needed workers and workers needed places to live. As a result Carnforth expanded westward from its old centre at North Road across Lancaster road to its new centre on Market Street as a result of the Iron Works on Warton Road by the end of the nineteenth century Carnforth was built up between the Canal and the Keer