Bewcastle is an Ancient Parish in the county of Cumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Bailie, Nixons, and Bailey.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Cuthbert

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1737
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1665

Nonconformists include: Church of Scotland/Scottish Presbyterian and Presbyterian Church in England.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BEWCASTLE, a township and a parish in Longtown district, Cumberland. The township lies in an upland tract, between the rivers Line, Kirkbeck, and Irthing, 6½ miles NNW of Rosehill r. station, and 10 NE of Brampton. Real property, £1,918. Pop., 152. Houses, 27. Here was a Roman station, garrisoned by part of the second Roman legion, to protect the workmen employed in building the Roman wall. Here also was a Norman castle, repaired by Bueth, a Norman baron, lord of the manor, immediately after the Conquest, and called from him Bewcastle. The structure was square, each front about 87 feet long; was occupied by a border garrison in the time of Elizabeth, and demolished by parliamentary forces in 1641; and the ruin of it, in one part about 40 feet high, is still standing. Many Roman coins and inscriptions have been found. The right of fair and market was acquired in the time of Edward I.; but has long been in disuse. The parish includes also the townships of Nixons, Bailey, and Bellbank; and its Post Town is either Gilsland or Brampton under Carlisle. Acres, 30,000. Rated property, £8,693. Pop., 1,091. Houses, 205. The property is much subdivided. The manor was given, in the time of Charles I., to Sir Richard Graham; and it remains now with his descendant Sir F. U. Graham of Netherby. Large portion of the surface is wild and waste. Coal, limestone, and lead are found. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £120. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle. The church is small and good, on a rising-ground within the fosse which surrounds the station. An ancient obelisk, a single block, 14 feet high, with sculptures and inscriptions which were but lately deciphered, stands in the churchyard. There is an English Presbyterian chapel.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

BEWCASTLE (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Longtown, Eskdale ward, E. division of Cumberland, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Brampton; comprising the townships of Bailie, Bellbank, Bewcastle, and Nixons; and containing 1274 inhabitants, of whom 181 are in the township of Bewcastle. This place, which was a Roman station on the Maiden-way, derived its name from a fortress erected here soon after the Conquest by Bueth, lord of Gilsland, and in which, in the reign of Elizabeth, and also in 1639, a border garrison was placed; during the civil war the castle was demolished by the parliamentarians, and only some slight vestiges of it now remain. The parish comprises about 41,221 acres, of which 21,221 are rateable, and about 20,000 undivided common; it abounds with richly varied and picturesque scenery, and within its limits the Leven or Line and the Irthing have their sources. The substrata are chiefly limestone and coal, and lead-ore is found in abundance. In the 7th of Edward I., license was granted to John Swinburn, to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. The living is a rectory, rated in the king’s books at £2, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, with a net income of £120. The rectorial tithes for the township of Bewcastle have been commuted for £60; and there are 40 acres of glebe. In the churchyard is a curious antique cross composed of a single stone, bearing Runic inscriptions which have been variously interpreted, and some curious devices supposed to be emblematical of the conversion of the Danes to Christianity, and commemorative of the death and interment of one of their kings. Here is a place of worship for Presbyterians. Many coins, inscribed stones, and other relics of Roman occupation have been found, and there are various relics of antiquity in the vicinity. The parish contains two mineral springs, one sulphureous, the other chalybeate; and at Low Grange, a quarter of a mile to the east of the church, is a petrifying spring.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

Cumberland Archives & Family History Groups

Cumbria Archives – covers Cumberland and Westmorland

Cumbria Family History Society


England, Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-1990

Cumbria BMD

Cumberland ~ Births ~ Marriages ~ Deaths

Cumberland & Westmorland Newspaper Archives

Keswick At War Keswick War Memorial Cumberland History Ww1 Ww2 Boer

Cumberland Document Transcriptions

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977



England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners’ Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Cumberland
Civil Registration District: Longtown
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
Diocese: Carlisle
Rural Deanery: Carlisle
Poor Law Union: Longtown
Hundred: Eskdale Ward
Province: York

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