Bardsea from Well House
Last Updated: 13 January 2014

Bardsea with reflection

Bardsea village and church reflected in the receding tide of Morecambe Bay

Bardsea village is draped across the western side of a distinctly contoured drumlin on the summit of which is Holy Trinity Church dating from 1853.  By-passed by the A5087 road, which provides the coastal route alongside Morecambe Bay between Ulverston and Barrow in Furness, Bardsea enjoys an appreciably lower volume of through traffic than the other villages in the parish. 

Morecambe Bay from Bardsea church
Morecambe Bay and Chapel Island from Bardsea church
The elevated position of the village affords quite spectacular views across the bay as well as to the Lake District hills to the north.  The village grew significantly during the second half of the 20th century but remains without a shop or school, although it retains a stone built village hall which once served as the village school.  The demographic of the village is skewed towards the higher age groups and schooling for the village children is typically provided in Great Urswick or Ulverston for those of primary age, and in Ulverston for the seniors.
Bardsea village
Bardsea village
The village is popular with visitors in summer months and has a pub with restaurant facilities.  Even more visitors congregate on the shore to enjoy the ever changing vista across Morecambe Bay.  The popularity of this asset is directly linked to the long standing and recurring problem of funding the public conveniences located on the shore for the year round benefit of visitor.  The imposition by South Lakeland District Council of charges on the parish, for a facility which is almost exclusively used by the large number of car borne visitors to the popular shoreline vantage point, is regarded as less than just and is contested annually by the Parish Council.

Wall with pavement decoration

Wall decorated with Limestone Pavement fragments
The Cumbrian Coastal Way passes along the entire length of the parish's shoreline at Bardsea, but immediately inland the village also enjoys a magnificent array of walks across Birkrigg Common.  This bracken covered elevated ground is grazed by the sheep of adjoining farms and is home to the standing stone circle known locally as the Druid's Circle. The common also displays a fine collection of limestone pavements within the grikes of which may be seen the trapped lakeland volcanic stones left behind by the passing glaciers.  Now protected by law, the pavement areas were once the source of stones, sculpted by dissolution as mildly acidic water drained from the surface above, quite commonly seen topping garden walls across the district.

To Sea Wood from Bardsea

View from Bardsea village to Well House and Sea Wood
The area around Bardsea is blessed with the largest concentrations of mature trees to be seen throughout rural Low Furness, notwithstanding that the magnificent ancient woodland of Sea Wood is actually in the neighbouring parish of Aldingham.  Nevertheless, the demise of these enhancing assets of all rural England has been constant throughout living memory and has run parallel with an absence of any interest in facilitating similar visual pleasure for future generations.  Replanting, whether of individual specimens or in groups, is rarely seen, and has sadly remained outside the spectrum of political inspiration and accompanying funding inducement, even though environmental concerns have been on the ascendancy.

Bardsea village and Morecambe Bay

Bardsea village and Morecambe Bay
Bardsea is a truly delightful small village, which in company with the nearby hamlets of Bardsea Green and Well House possesses a peaceful ambience not easily found in modern times.  Whilst being surrounded by agriculture, the village no longer has a working farm within its boundary.  A small industrial site between the village and the coast does not impinge on either the amenity of the village or the aesthetic of the coast.  On the northern boundary of the village Ulverston Golf Club is to be found, the fairways of which provide wonderful views across the surrounding countryside, Morecambe Bay to the east and the Lake District mountains to the north.

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