Whicham is a hamlet with a population of around 390. The parish includes the villages of Silecroft and Kirkstanton and the hamlets of Whicham and Whitbeck.
The parish is in an area of hidden antiquity; megalithic standing stones, stone circles and ancient tracks. The coastal land has been inhabited since Neolithic times and had a significantly large concentration of stone circles that surround Black Combe. Most disappeared at the 18th and 19th century agricultural revolution. The surviving ones are on Larcra and at Kirkstanton.
This landscape set against the dramatic backdrop of Black Combe has inspired some of our country‛s most acclaimed poets and writers, William Wordsworth, Branwell Bronte, Norman Nicholson and Alfred Wainwright, enriching our heritage at local, national and international level.
Within the valley of Whicham is St Mary‛s, an attractive church, situated at the foot of Black Combe. It serves the local communities of Kirksanton, Silecroft and Whicham, and offers a mixture of traditional and more modern services. A popular path up Black Combe starts here, and the church is illustrated in Wainwright’s fellwalking guides (Outlying Fells, p 166).
Other sites within this beautiful valley that one must visit are the Swinside Stone Circle which stands on a small plateau of land with Thwaites Fell to the north and more closely overlooked by Swinside Fell to the west. Also just outside of the Whicham Valley and within the Duddon Valley is a well-preserved 18th century charcoal-fired iron furnace in a wooded setting at Duddon Bridge known as The Duddon Iron Furnace, Read more about these 2 archaeological sites on our designated pages.