Burgh by Sands

Ancient parish in Cumberland ward, Cumberland, including townships of Boustead Hill, Burgh Head, Burgh West End, Longburgh, and Moorhouse and salt marshes of Burgh Marsh.


6,170 acres [2,497 ha], divided between constituent townships thus: Boustead Hill: 676 acres [274 ha]; Burgh Head: 866 acres [350 ha]; Burgh West End: 785 acres [318 ha]; Longburgh: 682 acres [276 ha]; and Moorhouse: 1,687 acres [683 ha]. Commons at Longmoors, Moorhouse, and Boustead divided 1686-1708; Moorhouse Green (50acres [20 ha]) enclosed 1842. Burgh marsh (1,655 acres [670 ha]), common to all townships in parish, enclosed 1848 (much of it (1,162 acres [470 ha]) remains registered as common land).


estimated at 540 in 1688; rising from 780 in 1801 to 1,083 in 1851; then declining steadily until 1931, before rising again to stand at 1,143 in 2001.


caput of barony of Burgh, held by Morville family in later 12th century, passing on death of Hugh de Morville (d. 1202) through his daughter Ada to Moultons of Gilsland, and from them by marriage to Dacres in early 14th century. On death of George Lord Dacre in 1569 barony was allotted to his sister Anne, wife of Philip Howard, earl of Arundel, and descended with Howards until Henry Howard, duke of Norfolk, sold it to Sir John Lowther 1685.


fertile soils and extensive arable land noted 1688, with grazing and wildfowling on marshes and fisheries in Solway estuary. Old Sandsfield was traditional port for Carlisle, taking vessels of up to 60 tons, until destroyed by storm 1796; ford (Stony Wath) and ferry across Solway nearby. Chemical works (manufacturing copperas and vitriol) at West End by 1847 (removed to Drumburgh 1857 – see Bowness on Solway). Tannery at Thurstonfield in mid-19th century.

Places of worship:

medieval parish church of St Michael, with defensive west tower of mid-14th century date; restored 1881. Quaker meeting house at Moorhouse, built 1681; rebuilt 1733; closed 1913, then used by Methodists until c.1967. Methodist chapel at Thurstonfield built 1861; still in use.

Schools and other institutions:

grammar school until 1786, when vicar converted it into barn; subsequently used as vestry. Schools at Burgh and Moorhouse under benefaction of Thomas Pattinson (d. 1785); that at Burgh built by parishioners on West End Green by 1829. New school built south of village 1870 and transferred to Board 1873; enlarged 1896; now Burgh by Sands Primary School. Subscription library recorded 1860. Public Hall erected 1894, as limited company.