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The Duddon, Cumberland

Historical Description

Duddon, The, a river of Cumberland and Lancashire, forming the boundary between these counties, from the vicinity of its source to the sea. It rises on Wrynose near the Three Shire Stones, runs 12 miles as a stream south by westward to the neighbourhood of Broughton, and proceeds thence as an estuary, with a mean width of about 2¼ miles, southward and south-westward to the Irish Sea near the north end of Walney Island. Its highest reach down to the foot of Seathwaite traverses a narrow vale, called specially the Vale of Duddon; its central reach traverses a wider vale, called the Plain of Donnerdale; and its next reach, down to Broughton, traverses the Vale of Ulpha. Its estuary includes about 13,000 acres of silt, all bare at low water, and capable of being reclaimed into fertile land. Its upper waters abound with trout and salmon, and its lower ones with cod and flounders. Its scenery is highly picturesque, with much variety of the wild, the romantic, and the beautiful, and has been sung in a series of sonnets by Wordsworth, who says, respecting its estuary-" Not hurled precipitous from steep to steep, Lingering no more 'mid flower-enamelled lands And blooming thickets, nor by rocky bands Held, but in radiant progress toward the deep, "Where mightiest rivers into powerless sleep Sink and forget their nature, now expands Majestic Duddon over smooth flat sands, Gliding in silence with unfettered sweep! "

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cumberland is available to browse.