Bewcastle (St. Cuthbert)
BEWCASTLE (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Longtown, Eskdale ward, E. division of Cumberland, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Brampton; comprising the townships of Bailie, Bellbank, Bewcastle, and Nixons; and containing 1274 inhabitants, of whom 181 are in the township of Bewcastle. This place, which was a Roman station on the Maiden-way, derived its name from a fortress erected here soon after the Conquest by Bueth, lord of Gilsland, and in which, in the reign of Elizabeth, and also in 1639, a border garrison was placed; during the civil war the castle was demolished by the parliamentarians, and only some slight vestiges of it now remain. The parish comprises about 41,221 acres, of which 21,221 are rateable, and about 20,000 undivided common; it abounds with richly varied and picturesque scenery, and within its limits the Leven or Line and the Irthing have their sources. The substrata are chiefly limestone and coal, and lead-ore is found in abundance. In the 7th of Edward I., license was granted to John Swinburn, to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. The living is a rectory, rated in the king's books at £2, and in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter of Carlisle, with a net income of £120. The rectorial tithes for the township of Bewcastle have been commuted for £60; and there are 40 acres of glebe. In the churchyard is a curious antique cross composed of a single stone, bearing Runic inscriptions which have been variously interpreted, and some curious devices supposed to be emblematical of the conversion of the Danes to Christianity, and commemorative of the death and interment of one of their kings. Here is a place of worship for Presbyterians. Many coins, inscribed stones, and other relics of Roman occupation have been found, and there are various relics of antiquity in the vicinity. The parish contains two mineral springs, one sulphureous, the other chalybeate; and at Low Grange, a quarter of a mile to the east of the church, is a petrifying spring.