Ancient parish in Cumberland ward, Cumberland, encompassing townships of Aikton, Biglands & Gamelsby, Wampool and Wiggonby.
Acreage: 6,172 acres [2,497 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Aikton: 1,829 acres [740 ha]; Biglands & Gamelsby: 917 acres [371 ha]; Wampool: 1,022 acres [414 ha]; Wiggonby: 2,404 acres [973 ha]. Common land totalling 992 acres [401 ha] survived until 19th century, namely Aikton Common & Green (500 acres [202 ha]), enclosed 1816; Whitrigglees common (196 acres [79 ha]), enclosed 1811; Leathes common (130 acres [53 ha]), enclosed 1825; and Gamelsby & Biglands common (166 acres [67 ha]), enclosed 1856. Common land at Laverockstone enclosed in 17th century.
Population: estimated at 530 in 1688. Rose from 582 in 1801 to peak of 856 in 1851, then declined from 808 in 1871 to 449 in 1971; slight recovery to stand at 480 by 2001.
Landownership: manor of Aikton (which included Wiggonby) held by Colville family in 13th century, conveyed to Daniel family 1348, and sold to Dacres in 15th century, thus uniting it with barony of Burgh (q.v.). Manor of Biglands and Gamelsby held by Crookdake family from 1290s; divided between two daughters on death of John Crookdake 1322-3, one moiety passing through several families to Dentons of Cardew in 1522; other moiety descended through Boyvill family, passing by marriage to Highmores of Harby Brow in 15th century, who sold it to Dacres.
Economy: predominantly agricultural; market gardening by c.1900. Wiggonby airfield (RAF Great Orton) opened 1942; closed 1952; wind farm on site (airfield used for burial of animal carcases during foot and mouth disease outbreak 2001).
Places of worship: medieval parish church of St Andrew; restored 1732 and again 1869.
Schools and other institutions: school at Aikton endowed 1764 (closed). Wiggonby Grammar School endowed 1802; now Wiggonby CE Primary School. School at Biglands by 1920s; closed 1959. Aikton Parish Room, built as mission room 1891; now village hall.
Papers in CWAAS Transactions
For more papers on this place, or papers about other places in Cumbria, search the CWAAS Transactions Index http://cumbriapast.com/cgi-bin/ms/main.pl?action=transactions
Aikton on Vision of Britain
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