In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Coniston like this:
CONISTON, a small town in Church-Coniston chapelry, Ulverstone parish, Lancashire; on the west side of Coniston water, at the terminus of the Coniston railway, 3 miles SW by W of Hawkshead. It is a picturesque place, amid some of the grandest scenery of the Lake country; has a post office under Windermere, ‡ two inns, a reading room , a public library, a church, and a Baptist chapel; and forms one of the centres of the Lake tourists. Oldfield, who piloted Nelson's fleet into action at the battle of the Baltic, resided here; and De Quincey made his notable unsuccessful pilgrimage hither to visit Wordsworth. ...
Considerable trade is done in exporting copper ore, slates, flags, birch brooms, and small timber. Copper mines exist about ½ a mile up the adjacent mountain; are supposed to have been worked by the ancient Britons and the Romans; have a chief shaft about 640 feet deep; and yield about 250 tons of copper ore per month. See Coniston (Church).
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Coniston has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of South Lakeland. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Coniston and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Coniston, in South Lakeland and Lancashire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 30th June 2015
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