Whitehaven is a town and port on the west coast of Cumbria, near the Lake District National Park in England. Historically in Cumberland, it lies by road 38 miles (61 km) south-west of Carlisle and 45 miles (72 km) to the north of Barrow-in-Furness. It is the administrative chair of the Borough of Copeland, and has a town council for the parish of Whitehaven. The population of the town was 23,986 at the 2011 census.
The town’s accumulation was largely due to the invective of the extensive coal measures by the Lowther family, driving a growing export of coal through the harbour from the 17th century onwards. It was as well as a major port for trading behind the American colonies, and was, after London, the second busiest harbor of England by tonnage from 1750 to 1772. This riches led to the launch of a Georgian planned town in the 18th century which has left an architectural legacy of exceeding 170 listed buildings. Whitehaven has been designated a “gem town” by the Council for British Archaeology due to the historic feel of the town environment.
Whitehaven was the site of a major chemical industry after World War II, but both that and the coal industry have disappeared, and today the major industry is the approachable Sellafield nuclear complex, which is the largest local employer of labour and has a significant administrative base in the town. Whitehaven includes a number of former villages, estates and suburbs, such as Mirehouse, Woodhouse, Kells and Hensingham, and is served by the Cumbrian coast railway stock and the A595 road.