Brigham

Township in Brigham parish, Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland.

Acreage:

1,759 acres [712 ha], including 500 acres [202 ha] of common land enclosed 1819.


Population:

rising from 238 in 1801 to 503 in 1831; steady across middle decades but rising again to 818 in 1891; fell back to around 750 until later 20th century, then rising from 1971 to stand at 1,065 by 2001.


Landownership:

one of Five Towns within honour of Cockermouth. Manor of Brigham had been divided by 13th century between heiresses, moieties being held by Robert de Yanwith and Gilbert de Huthwaite c.1269. Yanwith share descended by marriage to Twinham family by 1278, who continued to hold it in 14th century; by 17th century it had passed to Fletchers of Moresby. Huthwaite moiety descended to Swinburns, who sold it to Goodwin Wharton 1699. It was purchased by Wilfred Grisedale 1727, and descended through his daughter to Lucocks of Cockermouth, and to Joshua Lucock (Bragg) of Lorton Hall before 1804. Tenants of both moieties had been enfranchised before 1688. The Fitz estate belonged to Senhouse family from 1670 to 1990.


Economy:

farming, overlain by industry in 19th century, when village also became a middle-class suburb of Cockermouth. Extensive quarrying and lime-burning in 19th century. Cockermouth & Workington Railway (in operation 1847 to 1966) had stations at Brigham and Broughton Cross and coal depot. Fitz mill (on Derwent in north-east corner of township), recorded by 1774, was flax thread mill in mid-19th century; briefly used for wool spinning in 1890s; closed by 1895. Caravan park at Low Brigham.


Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Bridget, of pre-Conquest origin (contains fragments of Anglo-Saxon sculpture); restored 1863-76. Wesleyan Methodist chapel built 1856; replaced by new chapel on adjacent plot 1882-3; still in use.


Schools and other institutions:


schoolhouse built by inhabitants by early 18th century; perhaps on site of parochial school which stood at south-east end of village in mid-19th century. Replaced by National school between Brigham and Broughton Cross, opened 1875; now St Bridget’s CE Primary School. Colliery Rescue Station built 1914 by Cumberland Coal Owners Association to coordinate rescues across West Cumberland coalfield; closed 1951; building later used as police station. Brigham Memorial Hall erected 1924 in memory of men who fell in First World War.