St John Beckermet

Ancient parish in Allerdale above Derwent ward, Cumberland, including hamlet of Carleton and modern settlement of Thornhill.


2,946 acres [1,192 ha], including commons at Brisco and Ullcoats, enclosed under Egremont enclosure award 1783, and smaller commons at Carleton Moor and Grange Brow (188 acres [76 ha]), enclosed 1816.


estimated at 430 in 1688. Remained usually under 500 until 1870s, when it began to grow, reaching 682 by 1891; rapid rise across 20th century as Thornhill village (built for mine workers in 1920s) grew, to stand at 1,076 by 1931 and 1,925 by 2001.


manor of Beckermet held by Fleming family of Rydal from 12th century.


farming; village noted for bacon-curing in 19th century. Iron ore mining by late 19th century, with expansion in early 20th: mines at Beckermet (closed 1973), Ullcoats, Florence (sunk 1914; closed 1968). Sandstone quarrying.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St John the Baptist; early origin suggested by survival of pre-Conquest sculpture; rebuilt 1810 and again 1878-9. Thornhill Mission opened 1932-3. Methodist chapel at Thornhill opened 1928; closed 1944.

Schools and other institutions:

parochial school was in Beckermet St Bridget (q.v.). New CE Primary School built in St John Beckermet 1965 and extended 1975. Thornhill Primary School built 1927.