Bewcastle, a township and a parish in Cumberland. The township lies in an upland tract between the rivers Line, Kirkbeck, and Irthing, 9 miles from Gilsland station on the N.E.R., and 10 NE of Brampton. 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 Saxon castle, built by Bueth, a powerful Saxon, and called from him Bew Castle. The Norman lord to whom it was granted was Herbert de Vallibus. The structure was square, each front about 87 feet long; was occupied by a border garrison in the time of Elizabeth, and demolished by the Parliamentarian 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 has a post office under Carlisle; money order and telegraph office, Brampton. Acreage, 28,563; population, 800. The manor was given in the time of Charles I. to Sir Richard Graham, and it remains now with his descendant Sir R. J. 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; net value, £181 with residence. 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.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Bewcastle St. Cuthbert|
|Poor Law union||Longtown|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The parish register of baptisms and burials dates from 1737, and of marriages from 1738.
Church of England
St. Cuthbert (parish church)
The church of St. Cuthbert is a plain edifice, consisting of chancel and nave, and a tower containing one plain bell, purchased in 1845 in place of one which had been in the tower since 1785: the church was restored in 1902, and now affords 220 sittings.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Bewcastle from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Bewcastle (St. Cuthbert))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cumberland is available to browse.
Online maps of Bewcastle are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Villages, Hamlets, &cBailey, or Bailie
The Visitation of Cumberland, 1615 is available on the Heraldry page.