In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bewcastle like this:
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.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bewcastle has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Carlisle. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bewcastle and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bewcastle, in Carlisle and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 25th May 2013
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