On the coastal plain of Cumbria between the Lake District and the Solway Firth there are five historic churches dedicated to St. Brighid. They are at Beckermet, Bridekirk, Brigham, Kirkbride and Moresby.
This village “At the meeting of the becks,” Black and Kirk Beck, is close to the Neolithic Settlement at Ehenside Tarn (a beck is a stream and a tarn is a mountain lake). The new church in the village is dedicated to St. John and the old church of St. Bridget can be found down a narrow road about a mile from the village (OS NY015061). This beautiful, timeless, church is built on the site of a monastery founded in the 6th or 7th century. It was under the care of Calder Abbey between 1262 and the dissolution of the monastery in 1536. The lovely simple interior contains an ancient sandstone altar. To the south of the church there is the remains of a cross shaft with runic inscription and a date, 1103.
The beautiful churchyard at Bridekirk (OS NY116337) contains the ruined chancel of the old church which was built in 1130 on the site of an earlier wooden chapel. By the mid 19th century the old church was in a poor state of repair and a new cruciform church was built in 1868 incorporating the 12th century font and two Norman doors from the old church. In the south transept there is a stained glass window depicting St. Bride with her eternal flame.
The Church of St. Bridget at Brigham (OS NY086309) was founded as a convent church. The oldest part of the present building dates to the 12th century and the tower dates to 1220. The churchyard contains many carved stones from the 17th to 19th centuries set amidst yew trees. Fletcher Christian, the Bounty mutineer was baptised here.
The beautiful old church of St. Bride at Kirkbride (OS NY229573) is also known as “Kinjka Bride”. It dates to Saxon times and first appears in the Pipe Roll of 1189. It is built in the North West corner of the site of one of the most distant Roman Forts from Rome! A 30 acre site forming part of the Stanegate Frontier. The site was also a preaching station for Celtic missionaries. The interior of the church is full of atmosphere. At the East End there is a stained glass window depicting the Celtic Saints, Patrick, Bridget and Columba. Bridget, like her male companions, carries a bishop's crosier.
The 19th century church of St. Bridget at Moresby was built in 1822 on the site of an earlier church first mentioned in records of 1291 (OS NX982210). The Chancel Arch of the old church remains. The church is on the site of the Roman Fort, Gabrosentum where an altar stone to the god of forests, groves and wild places, Silvanus was found.