Carnforth, Lancashire Genealogy

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Carnforth is a small town and civil parish near Lancaster in the north of Lancashire, England, situated at the north east end of Morecambe Bay, by the River Keer.

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". An alternative explanation is that the name derives from 'Chreneforde' and is Anglo-Saxon in origin, as cited in the Victoria County History of Lancashire.

Due to the coastline and the inland Hills, the A6 road and the Lancaster Canal all pass through the town.The West Coast Main Line railway passes through but there is no stopping service, the local station does have train services to Barrow and Leeds. The M6 motorway also passes to the east of the town.

Carnforth Station

In the 19th century, Carnforth grew from a small village into 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 Station and it's clock were chosen by film director David Lean as the set for Brief Encounter  a 1945 British film about the mores of British suburban life, centring on a housewife for whom real love (as opposed to the polite arrangement of her marriage) was an unexpectedly "violent" thing. The film stars Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway and Joyce Carey. The screenplay is by Noël Coward, and is based on his 1936 one-act play Still Life. The soundtrack prominently features the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, played by Eileen Joyce.

The station clock, subway and platform were used to film the train sequences in the film.

Brief Encounter Carnforth Lancashire.jpg

Civil Registration

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD and Free BMD


Poor Law Unions

Lancaster Poor Law Union,Lancashire