Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811, Part 2
Face of the Country to Wigton - Description of that place.
We retrace our steps to Carlisle, and then proceed to Wigton, eleven miles, the road pretty good and surface level; but nothing very interesting occurs. The country, though not disagreeable, soon becomes wild and barren, but not without some fertile spots and pieces of wood land. - This road often affords us a tolerable extensive view. On the right is Moorhouse, the seat of Major Hodgson, where Joseph Liddel, Esq. and several other gentlemen, had planted extensive tracts of Scotch fir, which thrive well and enliven the face of the country; G. Blamire, Esq. of Suttle House, and J. Lowry, Esq. of Bunkers-hill, have also made many improvements in this neighbourhood. A part of the Solway Frith now appears on the same hand. The intervening country, though not remarkable for its fertility, is well cultivated, and shews some spaces of rich ground, encircling little rural villages, viz. Great Orton, Kirkbampton, Aikton, Wigganby1, &c. Towards the sea, there are large quantities of moss and marsh ground. On the left a beautiful conical mount, clothed with wood, marks the situation of Crofton Hall, which, after passing Thursby, makes its appearance at a little distance to the west. This is the beautiful and elegant mansion of Sir Wastel Brisco, Bart. which is encompassed with some fine pleasure-grounds, laid out with taste. Crossing the river Wampool, we traverse some large green commons to Wigton.
The town of Wigton is seated on a most beautiful and healthy part of Cumberland, on a gravelly soil and southern aspect, about an equal distance from the mountains and the sea, and surrounded with rich cultivated lands, and valuable commons capable of great improvements. There are several handsome buildings in the town, and the streets are tolerably wide, and kept pretty neat round the market-place. In 1788, a new and elegant church was built. Here is an hospital, founded in 1725, for six indigent widows of episcopal clergymen, well endowed. In 1788 was also built a meeting-house for dissenters, of which there are several respectable families. The town also possesses an endowed school, which Dr. Thomlinson of Rothbury2 considerably augmented; and a parochial library belonging to the church. The former manufactures here were tow-cloth, Osnaburghs, and coarse linens, striped checks and calicoes, and of late years fustians, muslins, ginghams, &c. have been introduced. But what has most contributed of late to the population of the place is a manufactory of printed calicoes at Spittal, about a quarter of a mile from the town, established in 1790, by Messrs. Brumell and Irving; and is now the property of Messrs. Ferguson and Irving. There are also breweries belonging to Messrs. Hodgson and Mr. Skelton. - This place is supplied with coal and lime from Bolton, about four miles distant: a cartload of coals, containing four Carlisle bushels, costs 3s. - This place did not escape the depredation of warfare; for in the 14th century it was reduced to ashes, when the Scots wasted Holm Cultram.
We take a short trip along the coast; and proceed from Abbey Holm to Skinburness, a fishing village and bathing-place, where a good inn is kept by Mrs. Carrick. A little further is Green-row3, which boasts of a most excellent academy, conducted by Mr. Joseph Saul, for all branches of literature, and which is attended by pupils not only from all parts of the kingdom, but even by some from foreign parts. Wolsty Castle, (now in ruins) an ancient and once celebrated edifice, is about three miles further.
Jollie's Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811
1. Now Wiggonby. Near to the village is a
building marked on the map as Hardcake Hall, which I think is a wonderful name, but I have
no idea of its derivation.
2. In Northumberland.
3. Now effectively a part of Silloth, which, as a port and small town, was a creation of the latter half of the 19th. century.
29 April 2008
© Steve Bulman