St Bridget's Church, Brigham

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St Bridget's Church, Brigham
St Bridget's Church, Brigham, from the southwest
St Bridget's Church, Brigham is located in Cumbria
St Bridget's Church, Brigham
St Bridget's Church, Brigham
Location in Cumbria
Coordinates: 54°39′54″N 3°25′08″W / 54.6651°N 3.4189°W / 54.6651; -3.4189
OS grid reference NY 085 309
Location Brigham, Cumbria
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Dedication St Bridget
Associated people Fletcher Christian
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 3 March 1967
Architect(s) William Butterfield (restoration)
Architectural type Church
Style Norman, Gothic and
Gothic Revival
Materials Calciferous sandstone with green slate roofs
Parish Brigham
Deanery Solway
Archdeaconry West Cumberland
Diocese Carlisle
Province York

St Bridget's Church is in the village of Brigham, Cumbria, England. It is an active Anglican parish church in the deanery of Solway, the archdeaconry of West Cumberland, and the diocese of Carlisle.[1] The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building.[2]


The church dates from the later part of the 11th century, with additions and alterations in the 12th and 13th centuries.[2] The south aisle was re-built in the about 1323 as a chantry for the rector, Thomas de Burgh.[3] Restoration of the church was carried out between 1864 and 1876 by William Butterfield; this included adding the east window and the south windows of the chancel, and the saddleback roof on the tower.[3] The timber roofs of the nave and chancel also date from this restoration.[2] Fletcher Christian, leader of the Mutiny on the Bounty, was baptised in the church on the day of his birth in 1764.[1][4]



St Bridget's is constructed in calciferous sandstone ashlar, and has a green slate roof. Its plan consists of a three-bay nave with a south aisle and south porch, and a two-bay chancel with a north vestry. At the west end is a three-storey tower with a saddleback roof, and at the ends of the gables are cross finials.[2] The church contains elements of Norman, Gothic and Gothic Revival architecture. The Norman features include a blocked doorway in the north wall, and the arcade between the nave and the south aisle. The ground floor of the tower is tunnel-vaulted.[3] Medieval cross slabs have been incorporated in the north wall and in the blocked west door.[2]


Both the nave and the chancel have painted timber roofs. The south aisle contains a piscina, a sedilia, and a recess for the tomb of Thomas de Burgh, who died in 1348.[2] In the church are pieces of carved stone; these include an Anglo-Danish cross-socket, and fragments dating from the pre-Norman period.[3] The east window contains stained glass depicting the Ascension, designed by Alexander Gibbs, and is a memorial to Rev John Wordsworth, son of William Wordsworth, who was vicar of the church for 40 years.[4] On each side of the east window are niches for statues.[3] There is more glass by Gibbs in other windows, dating from 1865, and glass elsewhere by Cox & Buckley and Sons, from 1870.[2][4] The font dates either from the 13th century[2] or possibly from the 17th century.[3] The two-manual organ was built in 1895 by W. Hill and Son of London.[5]

External features[edit]

In the churchyard is a red sandstone sundial dated 1684. It has a square shaft, the head is weathered and the gnomon is missing. The sundial is a Grade II listed structure.[6] The churchyard also contains many carved gravestones from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and the table tomb of Fletcher Christian's father Charles.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Brigham, St Bridget, Church of England, retrieved 21 March 2010 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Historic England, "Church of St Bridget, Brigham (1145196)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 18 May 2012 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hyde, Matthew; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2010) [1967], Cumbria, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, pp. 185–186, ISBN 978-0-300-12663-1 
  4. ^ a b c Brigham - St Bridget's Church, Visit Cumbria, retrieved 22 March 2010 
  5. ^ Cumberland, Brigham, St Bridget, British Institute of Organ Studies, retrieved 24 March 2010 
  6. ^ Historic England, "Sundial south of Church of St Bridget, Brigham (1311963)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 18 May 2012 
  7. ^ Alexander, Caroline (2003). The Bounty: the True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-03133-X. pp. 359-60.