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Cleator Moor
St Mary's RC Church, Cleator.jpg
St Mary's Catholic Church
Cleator Moor is located in Cumbria
Cleator Moor
Cleator Moor
Population 6,936 (2011)
OS grid reference NY021150
Civil parish
  • Cleator Moor
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CA25
Dialling code 01946
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament
  • Copeland
List of places
54°31′16″N 3°30′43″W / 54.5211°N 3.5119°W / 54.5211; -3.5119

Cleator Moor is a town, civil parish and two electoral wards (north and south) in the English county of Cumbria and within the boundaries of the historic county of Cumberland. The parish had a population of 6,939 in the 2001 census, decreasing slightly to 6,936 at the 2011 census.

The town's skyline is dominated by Dent Fell and the town is located on the 190 miles (310 km) Coast to Coast Walk that spans Northern England. On the outskirts of the town of Cleator Moor lies the village of Cleator with which the town is closely associated. As a settlement of note, it was substantially populated by immigrants from the North Eastern counties of Ireland in the latter half of the nineteenth century, leading to the colloquial title of Little Ireland.


From 1879 Cleator Moor had two railway stations: Cleator Moor East on the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway, and Cleator Moor West on the Cleator and Workington Junction Railway. In 1923 both railway companies and their stations passed over to the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). The LMS had acquired shares in the local bus company so to make public transport more lucrative the LMS closed both stations to passengers in 1931. The goods facilities at Cleator Moor continued into the 1950s.

Cleator Moor now only has one bus service number 30 that passes through the town every half an hour at 18 minutes past and 48 minutes past except on a Sunday.

Sectarian troubles (19th century)

Following the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s and the rise of the Orange Order, Cleator Moor found itself for a short period at the centre of sectarian troubles. In April 1871 several hundred Cleator Moor miners entered neighbouring Whitehaven and attacked "Anti-Popery" campaigner William Murphy, pushing him down the stairs of the Oddfellows Hall. The following year Murphy died, possibly as a result of his injuries. On 12 July 1884 the combined Orange Lodges of Cumberland, marched through the town of Cleator Moor to commemorate the Battle of the Boyne, leading to riots and the death of local postal messenger Henry Tumelty, a 17-year-old Catholic, with others listed as having received injuries from bullets, cutlasses and pikes. Local Catholics later took revenge on members of the Orange Order living in the town.


The E.W. Pugin designed Catholic church of St Mary's was consecrated in 1872, replacing the earlier mission church built in 1853. The grounds are home to a meditative walk on the Stations of the Cross and Our Lady's Grotto, a replica of the Grotto at Lourdes, France.


Local amateur rugby league team Wath Brow Hornets won the GMB Union National cup in 2004 and 2005, and the National Conference League in 2012. Local association football team Cleator Moor Celtic F.C. won the County Cup in 1999: the team has supplied players to Sheffield Wednesday, West Bromwich Albion, Bolton Wanderers, Blackpool, Ipswich Town and Carlisle United. England and former Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson, who currently plays for Manchester City, was once a member of the team.


Cleator Moor has a Carnegie library, a grade II listed building which opened in 1906.

The town had two secondary schools but both have closed. St. Cuthbert's stopped functioning in 1977 and in August 2008, after being open for 50 years, the town's other secondary school, Ehenside School was merged with Wyndham School in Egremont, making way for the West Lakes Academy. The academy initially used the Wyndham School buildings until a new academy building was constructed.

Notable people

  • Artist L. S. Lowry regularly visited Cleator Moor and Cleator during the 1950s and painted local scenes including the Westminster Bank.
  • Andrew Belton the military adventurer, was born in Cleator Moor in 1882.
  • Scott Carson, goalkeeper for Manchester City.
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