About Blackford Parish

Blackford means what it says, a black ford or river-crossing. However, unlike other places of the name, it is a mix of Old English and Old Norse: the first element is Old English blǣc "black", while the second element is Old Norse vathr / vaőr, ford, river crossing, which usually occurs as -wath in place-names with this element (e.g. Wath upon Dearne). The name was recorded as Blakiwaith in 1165.

The new district of Blackford covered 3560 acres and the patronage was vested in five trustees in such a manner as to be a public trust forever. An Order in Council dated 30th March 1871 assigned a consolidated chapelry to the Church of Blackford, St John.

The main road through Blackford - now the A7 - is the old road between England and Edinburgh, and it remained the main route for travellers until 1971 when the M6 was extended to join the A74. The Roman road, Castra Exploratum, leading from Carlisle to Netherby, ran just to the east of this road. Blackford is in the civil parish of Westlinton, which had a population of 380 in the 2011 Census.