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Wigton Church of St Mary

In the civil parish of Wigton.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY25604828
Latitude 54.82373° Longitude -3.15953°

Wigton Church of St Mary has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


C18 church on site of C14 church which may have had fortified tower like that at Burgh Church.

Parish church built in 1788 on a medieval site. Restoration work took place in 1881. Built of red sandstone with a graduated greenslate roof. Two storeyed with an eight bay nave, a three storey west tower, a north vestry and a lower single bay chancel. Documentary sources indicate that part of the old church was crenellated without licence in 1375. It was demolished in 1788 and a source suggests that battering rams had to be used to bring down the walls. (PastScape)

To William de Ergum late escheator in Cumberland. Order to remove the king's hand and not to meddle further with the church of Wygton and the fruits and profits thereof, delivering without delay to the abbot and convent of Holmcoltram any issues and profits thereof taken; as lately the king ordered the escheator to certify in chancery under his seal touching the annual value of the said fruits and profits, desiring to know the cause wherefore the escheator took the same into his hand, and he certified that he found by inquisition, before him taken of his office, that without the king's licence parcel of the said church is crenellated for defence, that the church pertains to the said abbot and convent, and that with the fruits thereof it is worth 100 marks a year, and for that cause the church and fruits are in the king's hand; and the king reckons that cause insufficient. March 18. Westminster. (CCR 1374-77 p. 11)

It should be noted the crenellating the church tower for defence was not considered a sufficient offence to take the church into royal hands. The roll reads to Gatehouse as though the escheator was being over zealous and was finding technical offences. However, as Burgh church was also held by Holme Cultram Abbey in the C14 and its demolition in the C18 does some to have been notably difficult it is probable the tower was similar to the west tower at Burgh.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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