Beckfoot Burial Ground
Don't be put off by the name; Beckfoot Burial Ground has a long and interesting history. From the peace and tranquillity of it's surroundings, pause a while and enjoy the views over the Solway to Criffel (hill). Take time to listen and watch for the abundance of wildlife and consider the history of the Society of Friends in Cumbria.
In the 1640's there were numerous 'Seekers', and after George Fox came to South Cumbria in 1652, these groups joined with him to form the Society of Friends - Quakers is a shorter name.
In 1653 William Pearson of Tiffenthwaite Farm, Wigton, gave land for a Quaker Meeting House. This was probably the result of the visit by George Fox in July 1652, when he came to Wigton with other friends from Caldbeck. Wigton became the centre for Quakers in the area.
Quakers did not consider a ‘church’ needed to be consecrated, since the whole of the earth was sacred. Therefore, they met for worship in the open air, in barns, or in other’s houses. Usually it was only when a meeting became too big that a Meeting House was built. Some were small but others were big enough to hold the whole of a Monthly Meeting like Maryport and the Wigton Meeting House of 1830 (built on the site of two cottages that had served as a meeting house from 1706).
Graveyards sometimes served as a convenient place for worship; the walls offered protection, and sometimes horizontal stones were set into the walls to provide seats for the elderly or infirm.