Kirkbride Parish

  > Is bounded on the east and north by the river Wampool, and on the west and south by Oulton and East Waver townships, being about 1 mile in length and breadth. It has no dependant township, but contains the hamlets of Longland's-Head1 and Powhill, lying within one mile south of the village, and 1606 acres of land, rated at 1609 belonging to J. Hodgson, Esq., the Clark, Alderson, Minton, Donald, Wills, with some other families, and a few resident yeomen. The soil is various, but in general consists either of a moss earth or clay, and is very level. Its population, in 1841, amounted to 372 souls. The manor of Kirkbride is parcel of the barony of Wigton, from which it was granted in the reign of King John, by Adam, son of Odard, to Adam, his second son, whose posterity, as was usual in those days, assumed the local name, and were styled de Kirkbride. It remained in this family till George Kirkbride, the last of that house, transferred a moiety thereof to the Dalstons, of Dalston Hall, the remainder was afterwards sold by another co-heir, to the lord paramount of Wigton, where it continued till the 6th earl of Northumberland gave it to Henry VIII, who granted the same to Thomas Dalston, Esq., whereby this family became entire lords of the manor, and held it under the king in capite by knight's service, and paying 13s. 4d. for carnage2, 22d. for puture of the sergeants, and 16d. sea wake, &c. It continued in the Dalston family till 1764, when Sir George Dalston sold it to Joseph Wilson, Esq., of Pontefract, who sold it to Wm. Matthews, Esq., of Dykesfield, from whom it passed, by purchase, to the earl of Lonsdale. Sir George Dalston also sold the advowson to the Rev. Thos. Metcalfe, vicar of St. Margaret's, in Leicester.

kirkbride.jpg (31720 bytes)Kirkbride village is situated on the south side of the estuary of the Wampool, 6 miles N. by W. of Wigton. The church, which stands on an acclivity a little east of the village, was founded before the Conquest, and dedicated in honor of an Irish religieuse, of great sanctity, called St. Brydoch, or Bridget, "and corruptly, St. Bride." It is a small edifice, built on the site, and probably with the materials from the old Roman fort or station which stood here. The benefice, which is a rectory, valued in the king's books at 5, and certified to the governors of queen Anne's bounty at 44, is now worth 260 per annum, the rent charge; 91A. 1R. 28p. of land allotted at the enclosure about 30 years ago, and 10 acres of glebe. The trustees of the late Rev. Fras. Metcalfe sold the advowson and next presentation to the Rev. Joseph Halifax, who was curate here from 1808 to till 1847, when he succeeded to the living. He resides at the Rectory house, which is a good mansion, built by the late Rev. F. Metcalfe, commanding delightful and extensive prospects. In its garden wall is a portable Roman altar, with this inscription, -

M. L. M.

A large holy water trough has been also found in the garden, and is now placed in the church, where there is also a capacious and much admired font. Under the chancel window is a tomb recording the death, in 1746, of a son and five daughters of the Rev. Lancelot Thompson, curate of this parish, all of whom died of the small pox within the space of three weeks. Here is a small meeting house belonging to the Society of Friends, though there is only one member of that body in the parish.

Longland's-Head and Powhill are two small hamlets within one mile S. of Kirkbride.



 Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847




1. Longland's-Head is now Longlands Head
2. "carnage" - probably a misprint for cornage, a rent payment (or sometimes service) assessed on the number of cattle.
3. Although I have no other reference to the Roman inscription, the first line should probably read "DEO BELATO(V)CADRO, Belatucadrus being a well-attested local god.

Photo Steve Bulman.

19 June 2015

Steve Bulman