In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Wigton like this:
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.The sub-district contains 6 parishes and a part. Pop., 10,052. Houses, 2,152.The district includes also Abbey-Holme and Caldbeck sub-districts, and comprises 176,529 acres. Poor rates, in 1863, £8,883. Pop. in 1851, 23,661; in 1861, 23,273. Houses, 4,840. Marriages, in 1866, 142; births, 695-of which 83 were illegitimate; deaths, 447,-of which 120 were at ages under 5 years, and 16 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,181; births, 7,068; deaths, 4,358. The places of worship, in 1851, were 21 of the Church of England, with 6,753 sittings; 1 of United Presbyterians, with 300 s.; 7 of Independents, with 1,563 s.; 1. of Baptists, with 60 s.; 6 of Quakers, with 910 s.; 8 of Wesleyans, with 962 s.; 2 of Primitive Methodists, with 280 s.; and 1 of Roman Catholics, with 350 attendants. The schools were 36 public day-schools, with 2,171 scholars; 41 private day-schools, with 951 s.; 22 Sunday schools, with 1,597 s.; and 2 evening schools for adults, with 24 s.
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 Wigton has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Allerdale. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wigton and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wigton, in Allerdale and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 18th April 2015
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