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.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wigton, in Allerdale and Cumberland | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th March 2017
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