The first edition of the "Post Office Directory of Cumberland" was published in June 1858 by Kelly & Co. The directory gave a topographical account of each town and village, also the names of all the resident nobility, clergy, landed proprietors, and of all engaged in professional, agricultural, manufacturing, and mercantile pursuits, arranged in alphabetical order, forming distinct Directories of every town or village.
The following is transcribed from the Cleator section of the directory:
CLEATOR, 5 miles from Whitehaven, 3 from St. Bees, and 2 from Egremont, is a parish, township, railway station, and large village, in the western division of the county, Allerdale Ward above Derwent, union of Whitehaven, Copeland deanery, archdeaconry of Westmoreland, and bishopric of Carlisle; situated on the rivers Ehen and Keekle.
The township is about 3 miles in length from north to south, and 11 in breadth from east to west. It is divided from Egremont by Keekle Beck, and was anciently called Kekell-Terr, corrupted to Cleator. The church of St. Leonard is a neat modern building, with a turret and bell; the outside is of plaster-work, with lancet windows; the inside consists of a nave and chancel. The living is a perpetual curacy, value £80 yearly, without residence, in the gift of the Earl of Lonsdale; the Rev. Frederic Addison, B.A., is the incumbent.
The Roman Catholics and Wesleyan Methodists have each a chapel. Here is a Rational school, partly supported by the weekly pence of the scholars; also a Sunday school held at the school-room. The Catholics have a school, and there is also a Unitarian school, free for youth of both sexes, supported by Thomas Ainsworth, Esq., built in a handsome and substantial manner, nearly adjoining his mill, intended principally for the education of the children of his workpeople. A Roman road passes here, of which there are still traces visible.
Cleator is a rapidly increasing village, owing to the number of mines, collieries, and quarries of stone and lime which are found in the neighbourhood. The population, in 18,51, was 1,779, now increased to nearly 3,000, the majority of the increase being Irish laborers employed in the various works and mines. The acreage is 2,844. The soil in general has a large proportion of clay, and is naturally cold and wet. The chief crops are barley, oats, turnips, and grass.
General Wyndham is lord of the manor, and, with Thomas Ainsworth, Esq., Samuel Lindow, Esq., John Lindow, Esq., Mr. James Robertson, and the Carron Iron Company, are the chief landowners.
There are many small proprietors. Flosh, a handsome mansion in the Gothic style, erected in 1832, is the property and residence of Thomas Ainsworth, Esq. Cleator Moines is the residence of Samuel Lindow, Esq., J.P.
The Roman Catholic church, built in 1853, is a spacious, but plain, edifice, with a low tower of red freestone, and affords accommodation for 500 hearers. Adjoining is the residence of the priests. There is also a burial-ground attached to the chapel.
Cleator Moor, about a mile distant from the parish church, is a rapidly increasing district, owing to the extensive works of the Whitehaven Haematite Iron Ore Company, which are situated here, and in connection with their collieries afford employment to about 490 persons.
In the Cleator valley there are many mines in which the description of iron ore known as the haematite (Lapis haematites, or kidney iron ore) is obtained. This ore is a pure peroxide of iron yielding 63 per cent. of metal. It is found in masses of from 6 to 100 feet in thickness, not in regular strata, but in immense deposits, generally below the millstone grit.
There are three blast furnaces at work, producing 500 tons of pig iron weekly; another furnace is in the course of erection. 'the superior quality and durability of this iron is such that it is well adapted for machinery casting where great strength is required. The three furnaces consume annually 40,000 tons of hematite ore, and about 70,000 tons of coals, for all purposes.
Previously to the commencement of these works, about thirteen years ago, Cleator Moor did not contain a single habitation; upwards of 800 houses, principally for the accommodation of the workpeople, have been since erected. Bowthorn Row is a long line of tenements contiguous to the ironworks.
Wath, 4 miles from Whitehaven, and 2 from Egremont, is a small hamlet in the parish of Cleator. The Whitehaven Waterworks Company have reservoirs here, the water of which is supplied from the River Ehen.
CLEATOR - PRIVATE RESIDENTS
Addison Rev. Frederic, B.A. [incumbent]
Ainsworth Thomas, esq. Flosh
Barker Richard, esq. Keekle
Burns Isaac, esq. Blackhow
Holden Rev. Gregory [Catholic]
Lindow Samuel, esq. J.P. Cleator maines
Palleiate Rev. Edward [Catholic]
Stanley Mr. Thomas, Keekle grove
Allison Richard, grocer
Armstrong George, Hare 6' Hounds
Atkinson Miles, shopkeeper & beer retailer
Barker Richard, farmer, Keckle bank
Beck Bridgett (Mrs.), shopkeeper
Benn Jane (Miss), farmer, Crossfield
Black Thomas, schoolmaster
Burns Jonas, farmer, Nook
Cleator John, tailor
Fisher John, shopkeeper
Gaythwaite Miles, parish clerk
Harkness Joseph, grocer & postmaster
Hill Anthony, iron ore merchant
Hope Joseph, farmer, High wath
Jackson John, tailor
Jenkinson William, farmer, Toddles
Lindow Samuel & John, spade & scrap iron manufacturers, & iron ore merchants
Little Abraham, master of National school
Little Ann (Mrs.), mistress of National school
Little Thomas, farmer, High wath
Palmer James, blacksmith
Parker Isaac, boot & shoe maker
Robertson Jas. miller & spirit merchant
Russell James, farmer, Crossfield
Southward Jane (Mrs.), Three Tuns
Southward John, farmer, Jack trees
Spedding Joseph, miller
Spedding Matthew, miller & farmer, Low wath
Steele George, farmer, Row
Steele William, shopkeeper
Sterling John, iron ore merchant
Sturgeon James, farmer, Troughton
Thompson Richard, farmer, Row foot
Tidyman James, shopkeeper
Towerson Ann (Mrs.), farmer
Turner Ann (Mrs.), linen & woollen draper & hosier
Turner John, miller & farmer, Low house mill
Wilson Joseph, boot & shoe maker
Youdale Margaret ( Mrs.), Forge Hammer
Armstrong Forster, shopkeeper
Armstrong Isaac, manager to the Hematite ironwork company
Atkinson Hannah (Mrs.), beer retailer & shopkeeper
Banton William, shopkeeper
Byrne Daniel, grocer & baker
Dawson James, farmer, Bowthorn
Felloon Neal, shopkeeper
Hailes Moses, beer retailer
Hematite iron Co.'s Works (Isaac Armstrong, manager), & Whitehaven
Leveson Nathaniel, shopkeeper
Quin Owen, beer retailer & travelling tea dealer
Reiley Francis, shopkeeper
Rooke Isaac, schoolmaster
Rotherby Ann (Mrs.), beer retailer
Rotherby John, shopkeeper
Ward Joseph, Queen's Arms