button to main menu  Capper's Topographical Dictionary 1808

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     COCKERMOUTH, a borough and market-town, formerly in the parish of Brigham, but now a distinct parish, in Allerdale ward above Derwent, Cumberland, 25 miles from Carlisle, and 302 from London; containing 417 houses and 2865 inhabitants, being 1255 males and 1610 females, of whom 1545 were returned as being employed in trade, &c. It stands on the river Cocker, near its conflux with the Derwent, whence it is named. It contains the ruins of a very ancient castle; which, from its situation and approach, must have been of great strength; it was chiefly destroyed when taken by the parliament forces in 1648. It belongs to the earl of Egremont, who takes the title of baron from the town. The town in general is irregularly built; but there are several modern and well built streets and houses, particularly the one ascending to the castle gate, which is very steep; and in that which leads to Derwent bridge, some of the houses are handsomely built of red freestone. The upper and lower parts of the town are divided by the Coker, and united by a bridge of one arch. The church or chapel was rebuilt in 1711. Beneath the Derwent is an extensive plain, with a public walk a mile long; the river on one hand falling in gentle cascades, and the banks enriched by corn-fields and meadows; while, on the other hand, the level mead is bounded by a rising ground covered with wood. The one end of this walk terminates by scattered rocks, covered with trees, and the other by the ruins of the castle. The town is governed by a bailiff, chosen at the court of the lord of the manor by a jury of 16 burgesses, and sends two members to parliament. The principal manfactures here are, tanned leather, hats, shalloons, coarse woollens, and linens. The principal market is on Mondays, well supplied with provision and grain, and a small one on Saturdays. Fairs, Monday after Martinmas and Whitsunday, for hiring servants; one for horned cattle, first Monday in May, continuing that day fortnight till 30th October, concluding with the Michaelmas fair, the only one for horses. The fair for servants is held in the castle-yard; the cattle fair in the spacious street below the bridge; and the horse fair on a common adjoining Gallow Barrow. The church is a curacy. - Hutchinson's Cumberland.
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