The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth

The Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth, Cumbria: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment

A desk-based assessment was carried out prior to the submission of a planning application for proposed refurbishment, including extension, of the Kirkgate Centre, Kirkgate, Cockermouth. The site is situated on one of the main thoroughfares through the town, and is part of its medieval core. Cockermouth is thought to be a largely medieval creation, although there are scattered prehistoric sites from the general area and an extensive Roman site immediately to the north at Papcastle, with much of the area on the west side of the River Cocker, in particular the evidently planned Main Street, thought to belong to a period of expansion following the granting of a borough charter in the 13th century. The site is situated within a part of the town that may have early medieval origins, although as yet archaeological work in this part of Cockermouth has produced largely negative results. During the post-medieval period the town grew and prospered again following a period of decline, leading to further development. The most significant element of this on the site was the erection of the All Saints National School in the late 1860s. This remained in use for just over one hundred years, before becoming disused and was ultimately saved from demolition through renovation in the 1990s to form the present Kirkgate Centre.

The full report is available on the Archaeology Data Service website: