|Colin says: The old (extreme left) and new (extreme right) lifeboat stations on Roa Island. The earliest recorded reference to 'the Roa' was in 1577. Nowadays, Roa Island in no longer and island - being connected to the village of Rampside (on the mainland) by a causeway a little less than a mile in length. |
Roa Island has a population of less than 300, a yacht club, a hotel, and a lifeboat station. It is also home to a house built for the Barrow industrialist H.W. Schneider which still stands on the island and has a row of seven cannon pointing out to sea.
The Lifeboat Station was established by the RNLI in 1864 and known as Piel (Barrow). This situation continued until 1889 when the lifeboat was moved to Barrow, however this did not prove successful so the lifeboat was moved back to Roa Island in 1899 and it has remained there ever since. the status of the Barrow lifeboat is once again under review (2003) but local supporters. who's very lives have often depended on it, are adamant that the service should continue to be provided. Roa island was also once occupied by pilots who guided shipping up the Walney Channel. Shipping, however, has been drastically reduced in modern times, and a permanent pilot in no longer in residence.
Extensive cockle and mussel beds can also be found in the coastal areas around Roa; and the picturesque ruins of Piel Island lay less than a mile away in Walney Channel. a ferry operating from the landing stage is available to take visitors across to Piel Island.