This was an important
industrial town in the 18th century after the
Lowther family laid it out on a grid pattern to
facilitate the export of coal from their local
mines. It became the largest port in the country
behind London and Bristol. The first place many
visitors head for is The Beacon, a harbour side
museum which describes in detail the highs and
lows of this seaside town on the Irish Sea.
George Washington's grandmother, Mildred Warner Gale, lived in the town and is buried in 19th century St. Nicholas Church, now a ruin following a fire in 1971. Another famous State-side connection emerged in 1778 when the privateer John Paul Jones destroyed a shore battery during the American War of Independence.