Brigus stands at the forefront of Newfoundland's heritage settlements. The origin of the name Brigus is not known for sure. One theory has it coming from the town names of Brickhouse or Brighouse, in Yorkshire, England. Another has the name coming from the French word for intrigue or plot, Brigue. The town counts among its settlers, pioneers from England, Ireland and Wales. It was at one time one of the major sealing ports. In 1847, Brigus sent sixty-six vessels to the seal hunt and over half were captained by natives of Brigus.
The birthplace of Captain Robert A. Bartlett, the master mariner of arctic fame has immortalized the town in the annals of history. The monument at Bishop's Beach is a major tourist attraction, while Hawthorne Cottage (Bartlett's home in Brigus) has been declared a National Historic site.