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Coordinates: 54°26′46″N 3°30′58″W / 54.446°N 3.516°W / 54.446; -3.516

Population 2,310 (2001)
OS grid reference NY0106
Civil parish Beckermet
District Copeland
Shire county Cumbria
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CA21
Dialling code 01946
Police Cumbria
Fire Cumbria
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Copeland
List of places

Beckermet /bɛˈkɜrmɨt/[1] is a village, civil parish and post town in the English county of Cumbria, located near the coast between Egremont and Seascale. Historically within Cumberland, it is served by Braystones railway station and is less than a mile west of the A595 road. It is near - around 2 miles/3 km from - the Sellafield nuclear plant which may be seen from the higher parts of the village.

The name

The natural assumption is that the village is so-named because two becks (local dialect meaning streams- specifically Kirk Beck and Black Beck) meet there. However, the name is pronounced with the accent on the middle syllable (over the years, attempts by people to spell the name as they heard it have resulted in versions like Beck Armett in 1570, and Bekyremet in 1279). In the 12th century there was an h in the middle, the earliest known version, from 1130, being Bechermet, so the English Place-Name Society suggests that the name really means "hermit's stream".

The two parishes

Until May 2011 Beckermet was split between two parishes: Beckermet St Bridget (2001 census population 385) to the south east, and Beckermet St John (pop. 1925) to the north west.[2] Arguably, a third parish should be included, as the parish of Haile (to the northeast) extended to within a few yards of St John's parish church, however this extension contains only fields. St Bridget included most of the small village of Calder Bridge, and the hamlet of High Sella field, along with about half of the nuclear plant. A large portion of the population of St John lived in the former mining community of Thornhill, near Egremont. In May 2011 the parish boundaries were changed, and the parishes of St. Johns and St Bridgets were merged to form the new parish of Beckermet, which include Beckermet, Thornhill and the northern part of the Sellafied nuclear site.

On 22 June 2012 Beckermet Parish Council was renamed Beckermet with Thornhill Parish Council. This was enacted to reflect the closer administrative ties between Beckermet and Thornhill.


Beckermet had a station on the Whitehaven, Cleator and Egremont Railway but it closed in 1947, the nearest station in 2013 being Braystones, a limited-service halt on the Cumbrian Coast Line, some 2 km from the village. Bus services 6 and X6 link Beckermet to Whitehaven, Egremont and Seascale.[3]


The current Calder Abbey is also within St. Bridget's civil parish.

Castle sites

St. John's parish also contains traces of two medieval castles, probably both residences of the le Fleming family, who were granted land in the area shortly after the rabbit warren.


Calder Abbey, which lies by the river Calder just north of Calder Bridge, is a picturesque ruin adjoining Calder Abbey House, a largely 19th-century house which incorporates some remains of the abbey. To the south of Calder Bridge, also close to the river, is Sella Park, a 17th-century house incorporating a 14th-century pele tower, restored in the 19th century and now a country house hotel.[4]


External links

  • Illustrated description
  • Historical information on Beckermet St Bridget Vision of Britain- accessed 2008-02-25
  • Pictures of old St. Bridget's church accessed 2008-02-25
  • Pictures of later St. Bridget's church, Calder Bridge accessed 2008-02-25
  • The cross stumps in St. Bridget's churchyard BBC Cumbria- accessed 2008-02-25
  • Historical information on Beckermet St. John Vision of Britain- accessed 2008-02-25
  • Pictures of St. John's church accessed 2008-02-25
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