Infobox UK place
official_name= Carnforth
country= England
region= North West England
population= 4253
os_grid_reference= SD499704
latitude= 54.123
longitude= -2.766
post_town= CARNFORTH
postcode_area= LA
postcode_district= LA5
dial_code= 01524
shire_district= Lancaster
shire_county= Lancashire
constituency_westminster= Morecambe and Lunesdale

Carnforth is a small town near Lancaster in the north of Lancashire, England, situated at the north-east end of Morecambe Bay, by the River Keer. The population was 4,253 in the year 2001. [] .

Due to the closeness of the coast and the hills, the West Coast Main Line (WCML), the A6 and the Lancaster Canal pass through the town. The M6 motorway passes just to the east, linked to Carnforth by the A601(M).


Much of the history of Carnforth revolves around the railway and ironworks. Vast deposits of limestone located locally made Carnforth an ideal place for an ironworks, as limestone is a key component of the smelting process. In 1846 the Carnforth Ironworks Company established a works, located near the railway station. In the same year a recession occurred in the Earl of Dudley ironworks in Worcestershire, this meant there was a surplus of workers. A number of workers moved to the ironworks and lived in the nearby company village of Dudley (now called Millhead). In 1864 the Carnforth Haematite Company took over the works and production was vastly increased due to iron ore that was brought in by rail from the Furness Peninsula. By 1872 steel production became the main focus for the works using the new Bessemer process. By 1889 this process had failed. Iron production continued at the works until 1929 when it eventually closed down. The site was taken over by the War Department (UK) as an ordnance depot and remained as such until the 1960s. From then to the present the site is now an industrial estate consisting of several businesses.cite web| url= | title=Carnforth Canal Walks | accessdate=2007-10-08 | publisher = Simon Holt Marketing Services | format=PDF | pages=16 |]

In the 19th century, Carnforth grew from a small village to a railway town when it became the junction of three major railways. After the 1960s, the station facilities were closed, and the main line platform removed, and as a result no express services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) call at the town. The town is served by trains from Lancaster to Barrow and to Leeds.

The name "Carnforth" is thought to derive from its old function as a ford of the River Keer on which it is situated. Over time the descriptive name "Keer-ford" may have morphed into the modern "Carnforth".

In 1945, Carnforth railway station was used as a set for the David Lean film "Brief Encounter", starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Fans of this film were one of the major factors in the recent refurbishment of the railway station, which is now run by the Carnforth Station Trust.

An important motive power depot was located to the west of the WCML and was one of the last to retain an allocation of steam locomotives until mid 1968. The buildings are now occupied by the West Coast Rail Company who still maintain and overhaul steam locos in their premises. The concrete loco coaling tower is a rare survivor.


There are a few pubs in Carnforth most of which are located on market street. Here is a list of the pubs in Carnforth:

*The Queens
*Cross Keys Hotel
*Shovel Inn
*The Cocked Hat
*The Canal Turn
*The Station
*The Carnforth Hotel

The town has a popular rugby club [ CarnforthRUFC] and football team [ Carnforth Rangers] .

Capernwray Missionary Fellowship of Torchbearers run a sizable bible school in Capernwray Hall, convert|4|mi|km|1 east of Carnforth.

Notable persons

The Conservative party politician Cecil Parkinson was born in Carnforth and became Baron Parkinson, of Carnforth in 1992.


Primary schools:
*Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Primary School
*North Road Primary School
*Christ Church C Of E Primary School.

High schools:
*Carnforth High School

There is also a small [ public library] within the town.


hub = Carnforth
type = ex
NW = Silverdale, Ulverston
NN = Millhead, Kendal, Warton
NE = Capernwray, Kirkby Lonsdale
WW = Morecambe Bay, Barrow-in-Furness
EE = Over Kellet, Gressingham, Pennines
SW = Bolton-le-Sands, Hest Bank, Morecambe, Heysham
SS = Nether Kellet, Lancaster, Galgate, Garstang, Preston
SE = Aughton, Caton



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