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Bowness, Cumberland

Historical Description

Bowness, a village, a township, and a parish in Cumberland. The village stands on the Solway Firth, adjacent to the Port-Carlisle terminus of the Carlisle and Silloth railway, 11½ miles WNW of Carlisle, and has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Burgh-by-Sands (R.S.O.), and a station on the Caledonian (Solway) railway. Its site was occupied by the Roman station Tunnocelum at the western termination of Severus' wall. Many of the houses are believed to have been built of materials of the wall and the station. Some vestiges of the wall can still be traced, and a Roman road went hence to Maryport. There is a fine viaduct, more than a mile long, crossing the Solway near here in connection with the Solway Junction railway. This place is a favourite summer resort on account of its good bathing. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the salmon fishery. The township includes Port-Carlisle. Acreage, 11,177; population, 1322. The parish contains also Easton, Fingland, Cardumock, Drumburgh, and Glasson. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £311 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Lonsdale. The church is an ancient building dating back to about the llth century, and has been recently restored. There is also a Wesleyan chapel.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyCumberland 
Ecclesiastical parishBowness St. Michael 
Poor Law unionWigton 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1642.


Church of England

St. Michael (parish church)

The church of St. Michael is an ancient structure in the Early Norman and Early English Transitional styles, consisting of chancel, nave, north transept, south porch, and a western turret containing 2 bells, presented by Mrs. Peter J. Irving, in memory of the late Capt. Peter John Irving: the two old bells, one of which is said to have been carried off from Scotland by a marauding party during a border raid, are now in the porch; the font, a Norman work, was dug up in a garden adjoining the church in 1848: the carved pulpit and reading desk, and the rails enclosing the sacrarium, were made from the oak timbers of the old room: the stained east window, presented in 1891 by Thomas George Wilson esq. J.P. of Thistlewood, is a memorial to his parents, John Wilson esq. of Longcroft, in this parish, d. 1833, and Mary his wife; the church was restored in 1891, and an organ erected, at a cost of about £2,562. In 1909 three stained lights were inserted in the south window of the chancel, in memory of the Rev. Samuel Lindow M.A. rector 1889-1908, to whose memory there is also a brass tablet near the pulpit, which was placed there by his sister, Mrs. Calderwood: there is another brass tablet, in memory of the Rev. Samuel Meddlicott M.A. rector 1877-1889. There are 300 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Bowness from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cumberland is available to browse.


Online maps of Bowness are available from a number of sites:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Whitrigg (Bowness)

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of Cumberland, 1615 is available on the Heraldry page.