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Bridekirk (St. Bridget)

BRIDEKIRK (St. Bridget), a parish, in the union of Cockermouth, Allerdale ward below Derwent, W. division of Cumberland; comprising the townships of Bridekirk, Great and Little Broughton, Dovenby, Papcastle, Ribton, and Tallentire; and containing 2112 inhabitants, of whom 121 are in the township of Bridekirk, 2 miles (N. by W.) from Cockermouth. This parish, which takes its name from its patron saint, contains some quarries of limestone and white freestone, and extends about five miles along the northern bank of the river Derwent, near which the land is fertile; a wet soil, incumbent on clay or limestone, prevails on its northern side. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 13. 4., and in the patronage of Mrs. Dykes; net income, £137; impropriators, Mrs. Dykes, the Earl of Lonsdale, William Brown and J. S. Fisher, Esqrs., and Captain Senhouse. The church is an ancient edifice, principally in the Norman style, but modernised a few years since, by the erection of a new tower, and the enlargement of several windows: it contains a singular font, which, according to Camden, was brought from the Roman station at Papcastle, exhibiting, in rude relief, various designs symbolical of the serpent and the forbidden fruit, the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, the baptism of Christ, &c., likewise a Runic inscription. Sir Joseph Williamson, secretary of state in the reign of Charles II.; and Thomas Tickell, the poet and essayist, born in 1686, were natives of this place, each during the incumbency of his father.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.