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Coordinates: 54°49′23″N 3°09′32″W / 54.823, -3.159
St Mary's Church, Wigton - - 286321
St. Mary's Church

Cumbria outline map with UK
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Wigton shown within Cumbria
Population 5,360 (2001)
OS grid reference NY255481
Parish Wigton
District Allerdale
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WIGTON
Postcode district CA7
Dialling code 016973
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Penrith and The Border
List of places: UK • England • Cumbria

Wigton is a small market town and civil parish in Allerdale, outside the Lake District, in the administrative county of Cumbria in England, and traditionally in Cumberland. It is the bustling and thriving centre of the Solway Plain, situated between the Caldbeck Fells and the Solway coast. It is served by Wigton railway station on the Cumbrian Coast Line, and the A596 road to Workington and (via the A595 road) to Carlisle.


Wigton is 'Wicga's tūn' [1] 'Tūn' is Old English for 'homestead' or 'village', so Wigton is 'the hamlet belonging to Wicga'.


On the Wiza and Wampool becks (dialect word meaning "brook" or "stream" - from the Old Norse bekkr), the Market town of Wigton is an ancient settlement and evolved from a pre-medieval street plan, which can still be traced today.

The Romans had a cavalry station, Maglona, known locally as "Old Carlisle", just to the south of the town with a large Vicus (civilian settlement) associated with it. Wigton was in existence by 1100AD when it became a Norman barony gaining its market charter in 1262 Although the town's layout is generally medieval, its architectural style is Georgian which remains largely intact.

In the middle of Wigton's market place is the George Moore Memorial Fountain built in 1872, of particular interest are the four bronzes around the fountain, the work of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner. These depict the "four acts of mercy". St. Mary's Church dates from 1788, but there was a church on this site from the 12th century.

A private secondary school, the Wigton School (also called the Friends' School or Brookfield) was founded to the north of the town in 1815 with an initial enrollment of eight pupils. After reaching a maximum enrollment of 250 or so in the 1970s and 1980s, the school closed, following sustained drop-off in student numbers and, finally, damage by fire.[2]

The appearance of the church owes much to the vision of Rev. John Ford (father of the broadcaster Anna Ford) in the 1950s when he had gravestones laid flat and the interior painted in the present colours. A novelty not to be missed is Highmoor Bell tower - built during the Industrial revolution and completed in 1887 - it played tunes three times daily.


Wigton today is a thriving market town, with livestock auctions being held regularly at Hopes Auction Company. The main employer is Innovia Films.

The town has its own secondary school, called The Nelson Thomlinson School, which is a well-performing comprehensive with close links to the Innovia factory.

In 2004 the town was the first settlement in the United Kingdom to enforce a curfew on teenagers under the age of 16 It was in place for two weeks, and its aim was to reduce the amount of vandalism in the town centre. It followed nightly vandalism campaigns, which included smashed shop fronts, as well as intimidation of elderly members of the community. The curfew attracted national attention, with the local secondary school receiving visits from agencies such as Sky News. It had some effect, with less vandalism taking place ever since.


Wigton's principal employer is the Innovia Factory (locally known as The Factory), in the centre of the town.

In 1936 the British New Wrap Co Ltd was formed in Wigton, Cumbria and production of cellulose film began at the site which had previously been a jam-making facility, and then set up to produce "artificial silk" or Rayon. In 1936 the company changed its name to British Rayophane Ltd.

The company's main products are:

  • Labels & Graphics
  • Cellophane and Propafilm - bubble-produced BOPP film
  • Substrates for plastic banknotes - currently used for all Australian, New Zealand, Romanian and Vietnamese currencies
  • Plastic labels - replacing paper labels due to their resistance to tearing, scuffing and water damage. Clear labels are especially popular as they give the 'upmarket' appearance of graphics printed directly onto a bottle or container
  • UV-resistant films - for promotional and POS/POP graphics

Wigton is also home to:

  • Reays Coaches is based in Wigton and employs around 200 staff.
  • VV Rouleaux, supplier of ribbons and tie-backs, operates its only UK warehouse in Wigton.

Notable peopleEdit



  1. ^ Armstrong, A. M.; Mawer, A.; Stenton, F. M.; Dickens, B. (1950). The place-names of Cumberland. English Place-Name Society, vol.xx. Part 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 166. 
  2. ^ "The Friends’ School, Wigton (Brookfield)". Wigton Old Scholars Association. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 

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This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Wigton. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

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