Silverdale, Lancashire

Silverdale is a village and civil parish within the City of Lancaster in Lancashire, England. The village stands on Morecambe Bay, near the border with Cumbria, 4.5 miles (7 km) north west of Carnforth and 8.5 miles (14 km) north of Lancaster. The parish had a population of 1,545 recorded in the 2001 census,[1] reducing slightly to 1,519 at the 2011 Census.[2]


Chimney near Jenny Brown's Point
Location in the City of Lancaster district
Location within Lancashire
Population1,519 (2011)
OS grid referenceSD460749
Civil parish
  • Silverdale
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtLA5
Dialling code01524
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament

Silverdale forms part of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The RSPB's Leighton Moss nature reserve is close to the village.[3] The National Trust owns several pieces of land in the area.[4] The former Tarmac-owned Trowbarrow quarry is now a SSSI and popular climbing location.[5] The Lancashire Coastal Way footpath goes from Silverdale to Freckleton, and the Cumbria Coastal Way goes from Silverdale to Gretna.

It is served by nearby Silverdale railway station on the line from Lancaster to Barrow in Furness.


Silverdale has a parish council, the lowest level of local government. In May 2019 five parish councillors were elected unopposed and two more were later co-opted.[6]

Silverdale is in the non-metropolitan district of the City of Lancaster. The Silverdale ward stretches east to the Yealands and surrounding areas with a total population of 2,035.[7] On Lancaster City Council it is represented by one Liberal Democrat councillor, elected for a four-year term in May 2019.[8]

Silverdale is in the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire. On Lancashire County Council it forms part of Lancaster Rural North electoral division, and is represented by one Conservative councillor elected for a four-year term in May 2017.[9]

Silverdale is in the UK Parliamentary Constituency of Morecambe and Lunesdale, represented since 2010 by David Morris (Conservative), who was re-elected with an increased majority in May 2015[10] and with a reduced majority in June 2017.[11] It is in the European Parliamentary Constituency of North West England, represented by three Brexit Party, two Labour, two Liberal Democrat and one Green Party MEPs, elected in May 2019.[12]


Nearby towns and cities: Lancaster, Carnforth, Kendal, Grange-over-Sands

Nearby villages: Arnside, Warton, Yealand Conyers, Yealand Redmayne, Yealand Storrs

Protected areas

Silverdale is within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The parish includes several Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), including: Eaves Wood,[13] Gait Barrows,[14] Hawes Water[15] (not to be confused with Haweswater reservoir in Cumbria), Jack Scout,[16] Leighton Moss,[17] Silverdale Golf Course,[18] and Trowbarrow Quarry,[19] and the whole of Morecambe Bay is also an SSSI.[20]

Listed buildings

There are 20 listed buildings in Silverdale. The parish church[21] and Slackwood Farmhouse[22] are grade II* listed, while Lindeth Tower, the Silverdale Hotel, the lime kiln in Bottom's Lane, the chimney or tower at Jenny Brown's Point, twelve houses (four with barns) and two sets of entrance piers are grade II listed.[23]

Culture and community

The Gaskell Memorial Hall in the centre of the village hosts a wide range of activities and events. The Silverdale Village Players[24] perform an annual Pantomime and another production each year, and the Silverdale Handbell Ringers (founded 1906, and formally the Silverdale Church Handbell Ringers) entertain at Christmas. The village has a Women's Institute, affiliated to the "Cumbria-Westmorland" Federation of Women's Institutes although Silverdale was not in Westmorland.[25][26]

The Silverdale Village Institute is a registered charity and provides a building and playing field for public use.[27] In 2013 its committee rejected a proposal for a skatepark on the field.[28] The well-attended 2014 AGM saw a silent demonstration by the village's children in support of a skate park, and a major change in committee membership.[29]

The annual Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail, when local and visiting artists display their works in many venues in the two villages, takes place each summer.[30]

In February 2012 The Royal Hotel, a public house in a prominent location in the centre of Silverdale, became the subject of a dispute when its new owner announced his intention to use the pub and its gardens as the basis for a residential development. Local opposition led to the original submission being withdrawn. Revised plans were subsequently approved by Lancaster City Council's planning committee[31] and in April 2016 a refurbished Royal Hotel opened its doors to trade once again.[32]


Silverdale Primary School (full name "Silverdale St John's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School")[33] is housed in a Victorian building with more recent extensions, and has around 80 pupils.[34] It was graded "Good" in its 2006 Ofsted report and an "Interim Assessment Statement" in 2010 stated that "the school's performance has been maintained", but in its 2012 inspection it was graded as "Satisfactory". In 2013 it again achieved a "Good" rating.[35] There is no secondary school in the village.

Bleasdale School, formerly Bleasdale House School, is a day and residential special school for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, with 20 pupils aged 2–19.[36] It was graded "Outstanding" in its 2012 Ofsted school inspection report[37] and "Good" in its 2013 Ofsted social care inspection report.[38]

The village has a branch library open 18 hours/week.[39] Its premises were an outbuilding of Bleasdale School, and were an electrician's shop before becoming a library in the 1960s. The library benefitted from a major refurbishment in December 2011,[40][41] was closed on 29 September 2016 despite protests from the village community,[42][43] and reopened on 1 November 2017.[44]

Religious buildings

St John's Church is the anglican parish church[45] and a Grade II* listed building, built in 1885-86.[21] The Methodist church was also built in the 19th century. Silverdale is within the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn, the Catholic Diocese of Lancaster and the North Lancashire Methodist Circuit.[46]


The village has a bowls club and cricket team. Silverdale golf club, located near the railway station to the east of the village centre, was founded on 10 November 1906 and play started on 6 April 1907. Its original 9 hole course was extended to 12 holes in 1992 and to 18 holes in 2002.[47]

Silverdale Hoard

In September 2011 a metal detectorist unearthed the Silverdale Hoard, an early 10th-century Viking hoard comprising 201 silver coins, jewellery, ingots and hacksilver that had been buried in a lead container in the vicinity of Silverdale.[48] The hoard was bought by Lancashire Museums Service, and was displayed in Lancaster City Museum during 2013 and the Museum of Lancashire, Preston, during 2014.[49]

The Matchless shipwreck

On 3 September 1894 the Morecambe pleasure boat Matchless capsized off Jenny Brown's Point on a trip from Morecambe to Grange-over-Sands. 25 holidaymakers from the industrial towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire drowned, the largest loss of lives in a single incident in Morecambe Bay.[50]

Leeds Children's Charity

The Leeds Children's Charity (LCC) from 1904 to 2016 provided holidays for needy children from Leeds at its Silverdale Holiday Centre, which is to the north of the village centre overlooking Morecambe Bay.[51] (The centre is actually across the county boundary so in Far Arnside, Cumbria, though very strongly associated with Silverdale). The charity was previously named the Leeds Children's Holiday Camp Association (LCHCA), and earlier the Leeds Poor Children's Holiday Camp Association. In its last years about 275 children each year were brought for a free five-day holiday, sometimes having never left Leeds before and seeing cows in fields for the first time. During their stay they participated in a range of outdoor and indoor activities. The Association is a registered charity, and each year's Lady Mayoress of Leeds serves as its President. Its patrons include Matthew Lewis, the Leeds-born actor best known as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films.[52] It is supported by donations from individuals and organisations in Leeds and Silverdale and elsewhere.

Frances McNeil has written a history of the Holiday Camp in her 2004 book Now I am a swimmer.[53]

In late 2015 it was announced that 2016 would be the final season of children's holidays at the Silverdale centre. The site was sold to the owner of the adjacent Holgates caravan site.[54]

Notable residents

The Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865) regularly holidayed in Silverdale and is said to have written some of her works in Lindeth Tower in the village; the Gaskell Memorial Hall in the centre of the village is named after her.

The Yorkshire-born English novelist Willie Riley (1866 - 1961) moved to Silverdale in 1919 and named his house Windyridge, the title of his first novel.[55]

The English poet Gordon Bottomley (1874–1948) lived in Silverdale, and his visitors there included the artist Paul Nash.

Kyril Bonfiglioli (1928-1985), an art dealer, magazine editor and comic novelist (author of the Mortdecai novels) lived in Silverdale in the 1960s and featured his home "Yewbarrow" in his books.[56][57]

The composer Edward Cowie (born 1943) lived in Silverdale in the 1970s.[58]

Comedian Victoria Wood (1953-2016) was formerly a resident of Silverdale.[59]

The duo Aquilo, who played on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury Festival 2014, live in the village.[60][61]

  • McNeil, Frances (2006). Sixpence in her shoe. London: Orion. ISBN 0-7528-6852-7. (This novel is set partly in Silverdale in the 1920s, with particular reference to the Leeds Children's Holiday Camp.)
  • In October 2013, the BBC Two television natural history series Autumnwatch was broadcast over four nights from Leighton Moss RSPB reserve at Silverdale.[62]

See also


  1. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Lancaster Retrieved 15 February 2010
  2. "Silverdale Parish". 2011 Census Key Statistics. Nomis: Official Labour Market Statistics. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
  3. "Leighton Moss". RSPB. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  4. "Arnside and Silverdale". National Trust. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  5. Arnside and Silverdale AONB Countryside Management Service. "Trowbarrow: the history, geology, wild life and rock climbs of Trowbarrow" (PDF). p. 22.
  6. "9th May 2019". Minutes. Silverdale Parish Council. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  7. "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  8. "Election Results 2 May 2019". Lancaster City Council. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  9. "Lancaster Rural North". Elections 2017. Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  10. "Parliamentary elections". Lancaster City Council. Archived from the original on 16 May 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  11. "Morecambe and Lunesdale Constituency - Thursday, 8th June 2017". Election results for Morecambe and Lunesdale. Lancaster City Council. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  12. "Results of the 2019 European Parliament elections in the UK". European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  13. "Eaves Wood SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  14. "Gait Barrows SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  15. "Hawes Water SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  16. "Jack Scout SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  17. "Leighton Moss SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  18. "Silverdale Golf Course SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  19. "Trowbarrow Quarry SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  20. "Morecambe Bay SSSI citation" (PDF). Natural England. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  21. Historic England. "Church of St John (1362446)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  22. Historic England. "Slackwood Farmhouse (1362468)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  23. "National Heritage List for England". Retrieved 20 November 2014. To see list, select "Location", then "Parish: Silverdale"
  24. "Silverdale Village Players". Silverdale Village Players website. Archived from the original on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  25. "Silverdale WI". Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  26. "Silverdale". National Federation of Women's Institutes. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  27. "Silverdale Village Institute". Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  28. "Skatepark plan runs into village opposition". Lancaster Guardian. 27 April 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  29. Murphy, Tom (23 April 2014). "Silent protest over skatepark at Silverdale". The Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  30. "Silverdale and Arnside Art and Craft Trail". Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  31. "Planners vote through 'homes at hotel' scheme in Silverdale". Lancaster Guardian. 19 August 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  32. Kitchen, Rachel (2 March 2016). "Future looks bright for Silverdale pub after £300,000 investment". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  33. "Silverdale St John's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School". Department for Education website. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  34. "Silverdale C of E Primary School". Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  35. "Silverdale St John's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School". Ofsted website. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  36. "Bleasdale School website". Archived from the original on 4 November 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
  37. "Bleasdale School: 119861". Ofsted. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  38. "Bleasdale School: SC058077". Ofsted. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  39. "Silverdale library". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  40. "History of Silverdale". Lancashire County Council :County Library and Information Service. Archived from the original on 21 April 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  41. "Silverdale Library". Lancashire County Council. Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016. Archived page showing previous library service
  42. Kitchen, Rachel (29 September 2016). "Silverdale library finally shelved this week as eleventh-hour hopes dashed". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  43. "Silverdale Library". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  44. Garnett, Rachel (2 November 2017). "Silverdale celebrates happy ending for library". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  45. "Silverdale, St John". A church near you. Retrieved 13 June 2010.
  46. "Silverdale". North Lancashire Methodist Circuit. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  47. "The Club: History". Silverdale Golf Club. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  48. "Silverdale Viking hoard examined by British Museum". BBC News. 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  49. "The Silverdale Viking Silver Hoard". Lancashire Museums. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  50. Williams, Simon (2013). The Matchless tragedy: the Morecambe boating disaser of 1894. Mourholme Local History Society. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-9534298-5-1.
  51. "History". Leeds Children's Charity. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  52. "Patrons". Leeds Children's Charity. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  53. McNeil, Frances (2004). Now I am a swimmer: Silverdale Holiday Camp, the first 100 years. Pavan Press. ISBN 0-9525547-2-0.
  54. "Leeds Children's Charity to run one last season at its centre near Silverdale". Leeds Children's Charity. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  55. "Willie Riley". Willie Riley website. David M. Copeland. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  56. Carey, Leo (20 September 2004). "The Genuine Article: the strange case of Kyril Bonfiglioli". The New Yorker. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  57. "4 bedroom detached house for sale [Yewbarrow]". Rightmove. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  58. Wilson, John (2005). "(Introduction to "What birds know about music" talk by Cowie)". Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  59. Victoria Wood to open Potter Places Treasure Trail, The Westmorland Gazette, 19 July 2011, Accessed 5 October 2014.
  60. Brinnand, Emily (29 April 2013). "Aquilo – New Band Up North #24". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  61. "Aquilo". Glastonbury. BBC. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  62. "Episode guide 2013". Autumnwatch. BBC Two. Retrieved 23 June 2014.

Further reading

  • Booth, Paul H. W. (2004). Warton in the Middle Ages. Mourholme Local History Society. ISBN 978-0-9534298-1-3. (Silverdale was in Warton parish)
  • Ireland, Rod J. (2016). Old Silverdale: the loveliest spot on Morecambe Bay. Lancaster: Palatine Books. ISBN 978 1 910837 07 8.
  • Mourholme Local History Society (1999). How it Was: A North Lancashire Parish in the Seventeenth Century (PDF). ISBN 978-0-9534298-0-6. Full text available online
  • Mourholme Local History Society (2005). Warton 1800 – 1850: How a North Lancashire Parish Changed. ISBN 978-0-9534298-2-0.
  • Mourholme Local History Society (2009). Warton Parish 1850 – 1900: Borwick, Carnforth, Priest Hutton, Silverdale, Warton, Yealands. ISBN 978-0-9534298-3-7.
  • "Townships: Silverdale", A History of the County of Lancaster, Victoria County History, 8, 1914, pp. 180–182, retrieved 12 July 2010
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