Bridekirk, a township and a parish in Cumberland. The township lies near the river Derwent and the Cockermouth railway, 2 miles NNW of Cockermouth, which is the post town. Acreage, 1044; population of the township, 107; of the ecclesiastical parish, 886. The parish contains also the townsliips of Papcastle, Little Broughton, Great Brough-ton, Ribton, Dovenby, and Tallentire. The manor belonged to Gisburn Abbey, and was given at the dissolution to the Tolsons. Bridekirk House is the seat of the " Greek" Thompson family. Freestone and limestone are quarried. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Carlisle; net value, £184 with residence. The parish church was a small ancient building with a Norman doorway, and contained a curious carved square font, about 2 feet high, supposed to have been Roman. A new church was erected in 1870. Sir Joseph Williamson, secretary of state to Charles II., and Thomas Tickell the poet were natives.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Bridekirk St. Bridget|
|Poor Law union||Cockermouth|
|Ward||Allerdale below Derwent|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
The register dates from the year 1545.
Church of England
St. Bride or Bridget (parish church)
The church of St. Bride or Bridget, originally erected about 1130, was rebuilt in 1868 at a cost of over £5,000, all the principal features of the old building being re-incorporated; the present church is a cruciform edifice of brick and local freestone, consisting of chancel, nave, aisle, transepts, and a central tower containing a peal of bells, and a clock presented in October, 1875, by Mr. and Mrs. Cowley Fisher, formerly of Wood Hall, as a memorial to members of their family buried here: the bells were given in 1868 by J. W. B. Dykes esq. of Dovenby Hall, who also left by his will a sum of £1,000, the interest to be applied in paying the ringers and maintaining the bells: two Early Norman doorways, belonging to the former church have been replaced and there is an ancient font of freestone, believed to be of Saxon date, carved with representations of the Baptism of Our Lord, and the Expulsion of Adam and Eve, besides figures of monsters and birds, also with an inscription of Runic character: the communion plate includes a chalice dated 1550-1: there are memorial windows to Mrs. Donnelly and Beatrice Dykes, Joseph D. B. Dykes and Mary, his wife, and one to F. L. B. Dykes, one erected in 1874 by George Stockdale esq, of Kensington, London, to his father and mother and Catherine his wife, one to Major Green-Thompson erected in 1890 by his widow and her sons and daughter, one to Eliza Ballantine Dykes and one to Bertha Sutton: in 1869 an oak pulpit was presented by Mrs. Sarah Smith in memory of her husband: the church affords 300 sittings.
For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Bridekirk from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, 1848 (Bridekirk (St. Bridget))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Cumberland is available to browse.
Online maps of Bridekirk 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, &cDovenby
Tallentire or Tallantire
The Visitation of Cumberland, 1615 is available on the Heraldry page.