Barker Lane

Barker Lane no longer exists in Whitehaven but was at the start of the 19th century a small road in an area called Old Town between Albion Street and Harmless Hill. It was named after Richard Barker junior who had a soap boiling industry on Albion Street the rear of which was accessed by this lane. Near here in the Market Place was a Fish Market. As soap was made by boiling animal fat with a liquid containing salts from wood ash the smell in this area of town would have been quite 'interesting'. Production of soap was closely controlled because there was a tax of 3d per pound on soap until 1852 by which time a chemical method for making soap had been introduced.

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WAWL 2010