The old Wheatsheaf Inn, Brigham
The name 'Brigham' is from the Old English brycg, meaning "Bridge" and ham meaning 'village' or 'homestead': there is a bridge here on the Derwent carrying the lane to Great Broughton on the north bank.
Brigham was an early centre of Christianity in Cumberland. The Church of St Bridget, was originally a Norman building, and is situated at the far north of the village, known as Low Brigham; it contains several fragments of pre-Norman crosses and other early carved stones. A disused quarry is situated in the centre of the village, above which runs the main street of High Brigham. The quarry is bisected by the road called Stang Lonning.
Until the closure of the Cockermouth and Workington Railway in 1966, Brigham had a railway station. At one time there was also a second station serving the hamlet of Broughton Cross, half a mile west of the main village.
The family of Fletcher Christian, the leader of the infamous mutiny on the Bounty, are buried in the graveyard at St Bridget's. Fletcher himself was born and raised in the township of Eaglesfield within Brigham parish, and christened at St Bridget's, but he lies buried on Pitcairn Island.
The village has its own Church of England primary school, St Bridget's, with just over 100 pupils. There is no longer a Post Office in Brigham, though there is still a village store, a hairdressing salon and a social club. Brigham used to have three local pubs which all have now been transformed into houses. Newer housing estates known as High Rigg and The Hill are at the west and east of the village.
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about Brigham, Cumberland)
- Armstrong, A. M.; Mawer, A.; Stenton, F. M. and Dickens, B.: 'The place-names of Cumberland' Part 2, page=355 (English Place-Name Society, vol.xxi / Cambridge University Press, 1950)
- David Bradbury (compiler), "Pages From Brigham's History" Whitehaven, Past Presented (2008) ISBN 978-1-904367-33-8