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Brampton, Cumberland

Historical Description

Brampton, a market-town, a township, and a parish in Eskdale ward, Cumberland. The town stands in a deep narrow vale, near the confluence of the rivers Irthing and Gelt, 1¼ mile N of Milton railway station, 2 miles S of the Roman wall, and 9 ENE of Carlisle. It is thought by Camden to occupy the site of the Roman station Bremen-turacum; rose early to some importance as a seat of population and a centre of strength; sustained much damage during the wars in the time of Edward II.; was occupied in 1715 by the troops of the Pretender, and in 1745 by those of Prince Charles Edward. It is long and irregularly built, and has few modern houses. The town-hall is an octagonal structure resting on piazzas, and was erected in 1817. The parish church was rebuilt in 1878 by public subscription, and contains a peal of bells. The churcli is remarkable as containing eight windows designed by Burne Jones, and executed by Morris. There are Presbyterian, Congregational, Wesleyan, and Primitive Methodist chapels. The town has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Carlisle, and a workhouse, and is a seat of petty sessions. A weekly market is held on Wednesday, and fairs on 20 April, Trinity Wednesday, the second Wednesday of Sept., and 23 Oct. Extensive brewing is carried on, and the neighbouring coal works, which are the property of the Earl of Carlisle, give employment to a large number of persons. A mineral railway goes to Tindal Fell. The township extends into the country. Acreage, 6466; population of the township, 2790; of the ecclesiastical parish, 3133. The parish contains also the townships of Easby and Naworth. The manor belongs to the Earl of Carlisle. Naworth Castle is the Earl of Carlisle's seat, and was formerly that of the Dacre family. Freestone is quarried. A famous Roman inscription, noticed by Camden, is still visible on a rock overhanging the Gelt. An ancient camp occurs on Castle Hill, with very extensive views. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £349 with residence. Patron, the Earl of Carlisle.

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 parishBrampton St. Martin 
Poor Law unionBrampton 

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

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1663.


Church of England

St. Martin (parish church)

The ancient parish church of St. Martin, appropriated by Robert de Vaux to Lanercost Abbey soon after 1169, was pulled down, with the exception of the chancel, in 1788; this portion, now in use only as a mortuary chapel, stands on an eminence about 1½ miles north-west, overlooking the valley of the Irthing, and is a building of stone, with some Norman features, a porch, and a turret containing one bell, cast by Mears during the 19th century: the piscina and an aumbry remain, and there are several inscribed floor stones: on the south wall of the porch is a stone discovered in 1842 by the late Mr. Robert Bell, of The Nook, Irthington, and inscribed to Richard de Caldecote, vicar here, ob. 1346, and on the same wall is another stone, with inscription to Richard Culcheth, vicar, 1702, with a rhyming epitaph of six lines; on the north wall of the porch is fixed the side slab of a panelled altar tomb, disinterred from the churchyard in 1858, and displaying within quatrefoils three shields of arms:-1st, a bend chequy, for Vaux of Triermain; 2nd, three escallops, 2 and 1, for Dacre of Naworth; and 3rd, a cross fleury, with an escallop in the dexter chief, for Delamore: in the exterior south wall of the chapel is a segmental arch covering an ancient tombstone, which bears an incised cross of graceful character; on the south side of the churchyard lies another stone, carved with a cross and sword and the letters A. M. below the arms of the cross: at the base of the north slope of the churchyard are remains of Roman masonry, forming a considerable block, and near this is the obliterated site of St. Ninian's or the Priest's well; some other portions of Roman work have been met with in the ground added to the churchyard in 1858, and a Roman amphora was dug up by the sexton in 1886: the churchyard was further enlarged by one acre in 1861, and in 1890 nearly two acres more were added; it now covers an area of somewhat less than four acres, and serves as a public cemetery. On the removal of the greater part of the old church in 1788, the materials were used in enlarging the hospital chapel, which, together with four of the almshouses, was reconstructed to serve as a parish church on the site of the present church of St. Martin; this church was consecrated by Bishop Douglas in the same year: it was considerably enlarged in 1827-8, at a cost of £1,800, when a peal of 6 bells was hung, 4 of these, besides the organ, being the gift of the Rev. Thomas Bamshay, then vicar.

St. Martin (parish church)

The present church of St. Martin, erected in 1877-8, at a cost of £8,643, occupies the site of the former structure, and is a building of red sandstone from the Gelt quarries, in the Transitional Early English style, from designs by Mr. Philip Webb, architect, of London, and consists of chancel, nave of four bays, aisles, vestry of two stages at the end of the north aisle, north porch, and a western tower, completed in 1906, and containing the 6 bells from the previous church, and a clock with chimes and three dials, the total cost amounting to £2,250; the lower portion of the tower forms a porch and baptistery: the chancel is separated from the nave by a low stone screen: the stained east window was erected by subscription in 1881 as a memorial to the Hon. Charles Wentworth George Howard M.P. d. 4 11 April, 1879; there are also numerous other stained windows, all of which were designed by Sir E. Burne Jones bart. A.R.A. and some of these are memorials to William Carrick esq. coroner for East Cumberland, d. 14 July, 1877; Alexander Thorn esq, surgeon, d. 1880; John Lee, of West Hill, d. 25 March, 1880, and Mary Ann, his wife, d. 25 Nov. 1875; Elizabeth Dacre, daughter of the late Earl and Rosalind Countess of Carlisle; and to the Rev. Henry Whitehead M.A. vicar 1890-96: there is a tablet, with bust, to the Rev. Thomas Ramshay B.C.L. vicar here, d. 20 Dec. 1840, and Maria, his widow, d. 3 Nov. 1846; and in the baptistery are other tablets, two of which bear the names of the vicars of Brampton: the communion plate includes two flagons, a silver chalice (called the Newcastle chalice), paten, alms dish and three plates, and is mostly of the 17th century, the chalice being rather earlier: there are 500 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Brampton from the following:

Land and Property

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

Poor Law

Brampton was the head of a Poor Law Union, and initially comprised the following parishes & townships: Askerton, Brampton, Burtholme, Castle Carrock, Cumrew, Cumwhitton, Northsceugh and Moorthwaite, Denton Nether, Denton Upper, Farlam, Hayton, Fenton, Faugh, Little Corby & Talkin, Irthington, Newby, Laversdale & Newton, Kingwater, Walton, and Waterhead. Carlatton, Geltsdale and Midgeholme were added to the union at a later date.

Villages, Hamlets, &c


Visitations Heraldic

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


The Workhouse, on the east side of the town, and near to it, was erected in 1875, at a cost of about £15,000, to hold 200 inmates, and was a structure of red brick with stone dressings, covering an area of one acre, with attached grounds of two acres.