Flatt Walks

Flatt Walks derives it name from the original building that lay on the site of Whitehaven Castle. This was a large mansion house called The Flatt owned by Sir George Fletcher of Hutton, whose family had probably owned it for around a hundred years, when it was bought by Sir John Lowther in 1675. Sir James Lowther had the building remodelled in 1769 with help from Robert Adam and it became The Castle we see today. It remained with the Lowther family until 1924 when it was bought by Herbert Walker of High Street who donated it as a new hospital for Whitehaven to replace the infirmary on Howgill Street. When the modern West Cumberland hospital opened at Hensingham in 1964 the castle became a geriatric hospital until the 1980's. After being left to ruin for years it was sold to a developer and was stripped to the outer shell then rebuilt as apartments.

Whitehaven Castle

Originally the main road went around the back of the house and the Flatt Meadows stretched from the house to Pow Beck on the other side of the valley. The Flatt Walks were probably part of the ornamental gardens that were developed on these Meadows by Sir James Lowther and shown on the view by Matthias Read.

Flatt Walks circa 1730

Flatt Walks extends from the end of Lowther Street where the road bends before the Castle to beyond the end of Coach Road where it runs into Back Corkickle. Outside the Castle public house is a permanent floral display to welcome people to Whitehaven.

Floral display at Flatt Walks

At the Corkickle end of Flatt Walks on the Castle side we have the old gatehouse which has recently been extended in similar style to provide a house.

Gate House at end of Coach Road

Between that and the castle we have Acton Court, a new build which has been done in Georgian style, that gets its name from a local hero. Private Acton early in World War I, left his trench and recovered injured colleagues from between the lines, whilst under extreme and prolonged enemy fire, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravey. He died just over a year later when he was mortally wounded in action on 16th May 1915.

Acton Court Whitehaven

In the park grounds near Flatt Walks there is the last of the ventillation shafts for the railway tunnel between Bransty and Corkickle stations. Being adjacent to the castle it is surrounded by a fancy set of iron railings and is of a larger oval shape not seen on the other shafts.

Railway air vent in park

Where the ornamental gardens of the Castle used to be, all traces of history have been lost and we now have a Morrison's supermarket car-park, beyond which is the Whitehaven Sport Centre and beyond that is Flatt Walks health centre and the Lowther Medical centre.

Whitehaven Sports Centre

The latter two have retained the historical connection by name and despite being modern facilities have been built with a design that is sympathetic to the town's Georgian heritage, although they are hidden from the main road.

Flatt Walks Health Centre

Lowther Medical Centre

Where the Whitehaven Technical college stood until the 1980's we have a burger bar and Bridges Retail park.

Bridges retail park


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