Wigton is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Cumberland.

Other places in the parish include: Oulton, Waverton, Woodside Quarter, and Old Carlisle.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1604
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1663

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Table of Contents

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WIGTON, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Cumberland. The town stands on the Carlisle and Maryport railway, 11 miles WSW of Carlisle; belonged, at the Norman conquest, to W. de Meschines; was given by him to Edward de Wigton; suffered much in the times of the Border feuds; was burned by the Scots in 1322; was occupied by the van of the Duke of Hamilton’s army in 1648; numbers among its natives the poet E. Clarke, the painter R. Smirke, the mathematician G. Barnes, the self-taught weaver Joseph Rooke, and the geological writer John Rooke; is a seat of petty sessions and county-courts, and a polling place; publishes a weekly newspaper; carries on brewing, tanning, and the manufacture of ginghams, muslins, fustians, and checks; consists chiefly of two streets, the smaller one transverse to the extremity of the larger; has a head post-office, a r. station with telegraph, three banking offices, two chief inns, a church rebuilt in 1790, four dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a recently-erected mechanics’ institute, an endowed grammar-school, with £71 a year, national and British schools, a workhouse, a home or college for six clergymen’s widows, Sanderson’s charity with £135 a year, and other charities £18; and comprises parts of Wigton and Woodside-Quarter townships. Pop. in 1861, 4,011. Houses, 934.-The township’s acres are not separately returned. Real property, £15,736; of which £44 are in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 4,568; in 1861, 4,357. Houses, 986. The parish contains also Woodside-Quarter, Waverton, and Oulton townships; and comprises 11,800 acres. Pop. in 1851, 6,229; in 1861, 6,023. Houses, 1,324. The manor belongs to Lord Leconfield. Old Carlisle, on the site of a Roman station, is about 2 miles S of the town. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, £300. Patron, the Bishop ofA chapel of ease was built, in 1865, at Waverton.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

WIGTON (St. Mary), a market-town and parish, and the head of a union, in the ward, and E. division of the county, of Cumberland; containing, with the townships of Oulton, Waverton, and Woodside-Quarter, 6432 inhabitants, of whom 4738 are in the town, 305 miles (N. N. W.) from London. Of the early history of this place little is recorded: the barony was given by William de Meschines to Waldeof, Lord of Allerdale, and by him to Odoard, who lived about the period of the Norman Conquest, and assumed the name De Wigton. The town was burnt by the Scots when they plundered the abbey of Holme-Cultram, in 1322; and during the civil war, in 1648, the van of the Duke of Hamilton’s army was quartered here. Wigton consists principally of one spacious street, with a narrower extending transversely at one end of it, and contains some handsome well-built houses; it is pitched with pebbles, and supplied with water from wells, the property of individuals, and from a public pump, erected near the centre of the town. There are a subscription and a circulating library: races formerly took place in the month of August. The principal articles of manufacture are checks, muslins, and ginghams, which are made to a considerable extent; and an establishment for calico-printing and dyeing affords employment to many of the inhabitants. Coal is obtained within three miles, and copper-ore within five miles, of the town. A branch of the Maryport and Carlisle railway was opened to Wigton on May 3rd, 1843: the station here is 16 miles from the former town, and 11½ from the latter. The market-days are Tuesday and Friday, the former for corn, of which a great quantity is pitched in the market-place. Fairs are held on Feb. 20th, a very large horse-fair; on April 5th, for hornedcattle; and Dec. 21st, called Wallet fair, for cattle, butchers’ meat, apples, and honey: there are statutefairs at Whitsuntide and Martinmas. The powers of the county debt-court of Wigton, established in 1847, extend over the registration-district of Wigton. The county magistrates hold a petty-session every month; and constables are appointed at the court leet and baron of the manor, which takes place in September.

The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £17. 19. 0½.; net income, £162; patron, the Bishop of Carlisle; impropriators, the landowners. The tithes were commuted for land in 1811. The church, which is said to have been originally erected by Odoard, with materials brought from a neighbouring Roman station called Old Carlisle, subsequently belonged to the abbey of Holme-Cultram. It was taken down in 1788, and the present edifice, a light and handsome building, erected on its site: attached is a library for the use of the clergy, presented by Dr. Bray. There are places of worship for the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics. The free grammar school, at Market Hill, near the entrance of the town, was founded in 1730, by certain of the inhabitants. In 1787, the sum of £1000 three per cent, stock was bequeathed by John Allison to the school; and in 1798, £355 by Thomas Tomlinson, Esq., who also left £100 for the establishment of a public library: the present income is about £68. The Rev. John Brown, D.D., author of the tragedy of Barbarossa, received his early education in the school. An hospital for six widows of beneficed clergymen or curates of two years’ standing, was founded in 1725, by the Rev. John Tomlinson, who endowed it with a rent-charge of £45. 12., to which other benefactions have been added. The poor-law union embraces 31 parishes or places, which contain a population of 23,366. Ewan Clarke, the Cumberland poet; Joseph Rooke, a distinguished mathematician and philosopher; R. Smirke, R.A., the celebrated historical painter; and Mr. George Barnes, professor of mathematics, were natives of the town.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog

The monumental inscriptions of the parish church & churchyard and the congregational burial ground, Wigton, Cumberland Author: Wilson, James, b. 1763

Register of burials in the cemetery of the parish church of Wigton, 1855-1945 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland)

Census returns for Wigton, 1841-1891

Baptisms, 1823-1836 and burials, 1835-1836 Author: Independent Church (Wigton, Cumberland)

Births and baptisms, 1824-1837 Author: Wesleyan Church (Wigton, Cumberland)

Bishop’s transcripts Wigton, 1663-1879 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland)

Bishops transcripts of the parish of Wigton, Cumberland, 1798-1812 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland); Reay, W. W.

Church records for Carlisle United Presbytery, 1847-1876 Author: United Presbyterian Church. Carlisle Presbytery (Cumberland, England)

Church records, 1838-1902 Author: Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Wigton Circuit (Cumberland)

Church records, 1868-1963 Author: Primitive Methodist Church. Wigton Circuit (Cumberland)

The names of brides and bridegrooms married in Wigton, 1702-75 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland)

Parish records, 1711-1947 Author: Wigton (Cumberland)

Parish registers for Wigton, 1604-1952 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland)

Register of burials in the cemetery of the parish church of Wigton, 1855-1945 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland)

The registers of Wigton, parts I and II, 1604-1797 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Wigton (Cumberland); Swift, Francis Bernard; Bouch, C. M. Lowther

Allerdale burial index Author: Cumbria Family History Society

Computer printout of Wigton, George Street Wesleyan, Cumb., Eng

Computer printout of Wigton, Water Street Independent, Cumb., Eng

Parish printout of Wigton, Cumberland, England

Parish register printouts of Wigton, Cumberland, England (Independent, Water Street) ; christenings, 1823-1837

Maps – Carlisle, Penrith : Brampton, Gretna, Wigton Author: Estate Publications

A History of Wigton School, 1815-1915 : with lists of scholars and teachers

Friends’ School, Wigton, Cumberland : 1815-1953 Author: Reed, David W.


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

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