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"The parish of Wigton is situated 11 miles south west of Carlisle on the road to Maryport. Wigton was in existence before the Norman Conquest and in 1262 received its first market charter. Wigton is a market town with mainly Georgian design buildings made of red sandstone. Originally a wooden market cross stood in the centre of the town and it was from here that a bell was rung every market day to announce the commencement of trading." [Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884]

Archives and Libraries


  • History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Manchester, 1884.
  • The Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society:
    • Wigton Old Church, Collingwood, William, 1927, N.S. Vol. 28.
  • History of Wigton (Cumberland), from its origin to the close of the Nineteenth Century, Carrick, T.W., 1949, Carlisle, Thurnam.
  • The Registers of Wigton,The Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, 2 Vols. P.R.S. 35 (1604-1727) & 37 (1728-1779), 1950. These are available on microfilm from Mormon Family History Centers, films no's. Vol. 1: 0962150, item 4 and Vol 2: 0962151, item 1.
  • The monumental inscriptions of the parish church and churchyard and the Congregational burial ground, Wigton, Wilson, James, Wigton 1892. (568 MI's.) This is available on microfilm from Mormon Family History Centers, film no. 0823765, item 6.
  • Over a period of approximately 5 years in the 1980s, a series of 61 articles appeared in Cumbria magazine under the title The Cottage on The Fell



You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Wigton area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

  • A visit to Wigton is not complete without a visit to the parish church dedicated to St Mary the Virgin. In AD 1100 the first church at Wigton was built and endowed by Odard de Logis who was Sheriff of Carlisle. During the early part of the 14th Century the Scots raided into Cumberland and as a consequence the church was greatly damaged. The present church was re-built in the late 1700s. Since that time general refurbishment of the church has taken place at intervals. The church houses some of the most beautiful stained-glass windows.

Church Records

  • Transcriptions of Wigton Bishops Transcripts are available from the "Cumberland Roots" (archived) website. Added 10 May 2006.
  • The following church records are available at the Carlisle office of the Cumbria Archive Service: Church of England (CRO Reference: PR36)
    Baptisms Marriage Banns Burial Bishops Trans
    1604-1945 1604-1952 1754-1967 1604-1855 1663-1879
    Baptisms Marriage Burial
    1838-1905 1832-1855 1855-1948
    Methodists (Circuit Registers):
    Wes 1838-1974
    Prim 1868-1963
    Quakers (Preparative Meeting minute books):
    Baptisms Marriage Burial
    1856-1909 - 1839-1933

Civil Registration

  • Beginning 1 July 1837, births, deaths and marriages, regardless of religious affiliation, were recorded with Civil Registration Offices in Cumbria, as in the rest of England. Copies of certificates recording these events may be purchased.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Wigton which are provided by:


  • A Description of Wigton transcribed from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, 1884 by Don Noble.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Wigton has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NY255483 (Lat/Lon: 54.824001, -3.161104), Wigton which are provided by:

Probate Records

  • Wigton fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Carlisle and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records from 1548 to 1858 include original wills, letters of administration and inventories, although there are significant gaps in the years before 1661. These are deposited with the CRO at Carlisle. Comprehensive indexes exist, at the Carlisle CRO, in card files easily accessible in the reading room. The indexes cover from 1617 to 1941, listing the year of probate and the residence of the deceased. This is extraordinarily helpful in distinguishing between many individuals of the same name. Microfilm of many of these records, and a partial typescript of the indexes, is available at the Kendal office of the CRO.
  • The Province of York covered most of northern England, including this parish, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
  • For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.
[Page originated by Pauline Robson in 1997 and updated 2 Sep 2004 - Phil Stringer]