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Russian Flax and Hemp Bale Seals from

Greenodd in Cumbria

  

     Greenodd is a village in the Furness area of the county of Cumbria but within the historical county of Lancashire.  It is located 3 miles north-east of Ulverston. Greenodd and adjacent Penny Bridge are the main districts in the Crake Valley. The River Crake flows into the estuary of the River Leven at Greenodd.  The name Greenodd is of Scandinavian origin, the odd meaning ness (headland) in this case (the name translates literally as 'The Green Promontory').  In the late-18th and early-19th centuries Greenodd was a significant port; a creek-port of Lancaster. Exports included copper ore from Coniston, locally quarried limestone, and gunpowder from the nearby settlement of Backbarrow. Sugar, raw cotton and coal are listed in historical documents as some of the imports. Greenodd was also a shipbuilding centre with vessels up to 200 tons being constructed. On the darker side it is likely that Greenodd was involved in the North American slave trade. Today there are no signs of the former commercial activities. The Ship Inn, previously a warehouse on the quayside, is one of the few reminders of Greenodd's illustrious past. Small Galliot boats would bypass Greenodd to deliver Russian flax bales to Penny Bridge Mill and drop off iron on the way back.

   Until the 1980s Greenodd was on the A590 trunk road from Barrow to Levens Bridge. A bypass to take the traffic over a new bridge across the River Crake made the a cul-de-sac. Greenodd railway station was served by the Lakeside branch of the Furness Railway from 1869 until its closure in 1965. Today there is no trace of the railway, the station having been demolished to make way for a dual-carriageway road. This area is no stranger to being cut off. In 1820 the turnpike bridge across the estuary shut down the Penny Bridge flax mill .. although it is said it was burned down in a fire at that time.. but it wouldn't be the first mill to be burned down for the fire insurance .. and probably not the last.

     Ulverston had taken much trade away from Greenodd which continued to ship copper ore, lead, slate, woodland produce and gunpowder from quays along the River Crake until 1869 and the building of the Lakeside branch railway which cut off access to the river from the estuary. There were six quays downstream of the new turnpike bridge of 1820. The first of these was owned by J.B.Fell and had on it a steam-powered sawmill and a slipway for building coasters of 30-100 tons. In February 1851, Samuel Schollick began shipbuilding at Greenodd in a shipyard previously owned by the Ashburners. The first, perhaps the only vessel from the yard was the Edward and Margaret, a 90 ton schooner. Samuel Schollick opened a second shipyard at Canal Foot, Ulverston, in partnership with E.J.Schollick. "Thrifty", a 45 ton schooner, was launched on August 3rd 1854. and the ship was lost with all hands on the Liverpool Banks in November 1861.

  The port handled 24,000 tons p.a. in the 1840s, and featured a daily steamship service to Liverpool. Navigation up and down the estuary was maintained through a 30 foot drawbridge when the Leven Viaduct for the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway was opened in 1857, but the traders of Greenodd agreed to exchange that facility for a branch line to the village, thus sealing the fate of the port. Greenodd itself had only developed as a port when the new turnpike bridge of 1820 closed the river for navigation further upstream to Pennybridge.  Schollick’s Shipyard,  formerly at Greenodd, was put up for sale in 1855 and taken over by former foreman John Wilson and son in 1870. Last vessel built here was “Heart of Oak” in 1912.

Furness built Schooners   -  The J.M.Garratt (left) & The Mary Barrow which ran aground in a storm at St Ives

 

 

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Copyright 2022 © Ged Dodd

 aka PeaceHavens Project
Click here for the terms
of free copy & share &
supporting your Project