Today is   Last update 9-09-2016

Registration of your email address will allow you to sign up to email lists as well as access member only areas such as recent Transactions.

There are now three mailing lists you can join to be kept up to date with Society Information and Activities. Click on the button below to sign up.

Current Newsletter

Members can now download an electronic version of the Newsletter.


You can now join or renew your membership on line using PayPal, simply click on the button below to go to the membership page

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Cumbria Map
Map Of Cumbria
[Click map for larger version]


Cumbria as defined Post- 1974. The CWAAS 4 Affiliated Groups meet in the 4 places named.

For further details of the Affiliated Groups please click the following link.

Focus on Heritage

Gt. Salkeld, Medieval grave slab
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Click the button below for more details on the Society Committees.

Research and Grants

We help to foster research on Cumbria’s past through Grant Aid for widely-differing Cumbrian projects, and (for people under 25 years) the Clare Fell Memorial Bursaries. In addition all CWAAS Committees are widely involved in heritage matters throughout Cumbria, making their expertise available in many ways.

Sites Like Ours

Visit the links page for details of ’like minded’ sites.


Many visitors will also be interested in Genealogy. We have provided a page of useful links for Genealogy Researchers.

Dated Structures

This panel will highlight some of the pictures collected as part of the Datestones and Date Structures project that was started in 2007. Click on the read more button below for more details.

Brewery St, Ulverston (building now demolished)  Photo by Dan Elsworth. Click on this image for a larger version.

Brewery St, Ulverston (building now demolished) Photo by Dan Elsworth
[Click picture for larger version]

Cumbria Research

Interested in aspects of Cumbria researched in universities in the last ten years or so? A fascinating list!


This site is designed to work best in the latest browers. If you are experiencing problems or for more technical details please click the Read More button below.

CWAAS top banner

CWAAS top banner

Our Publications
Penrith: the Historic Core
Penrith: the Historic Core
Patronage, Power and Politics in Appleby 1649-1689
Patronage, Power and Politics in Appleby 1649-1689

There are only a few copies remaining of the following publications before they go out of print:

  • Draining the Cumbrian Landscape More..


View all the banners being used by the various exhibitions. Click on the icons below.
Click Here To go to the anniversary calendar for details of dates.

The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon
The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon
The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon The origins banner icon
Welcome to Cumbria Past

Display of banners used during 2016 at the Carlisle Record Office, Photo by Chester Forster. Click on this image for a larger version.
Display of banners used during 2016 at the Carlisle Record Office, Photo by Chester Forster
[Click picture for larger version]

It’s good to have you with us on the Home Page of Cumbria Past, the CWAAS website. Cumbria Past: an up-to-date name for the website of an up-to-date Society interested in Cumbria's past - its history, landscape and archaeology. And behind the website is the CWAAS, the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, founded in 1866 and keeping the traditional name alive, although the territory changed in 1974 and was also given a new name (see caption to map top left). Quite a challenge for a Society!

CWAAS Early Days
King's Arms Hotel, Kirkby Stephen
King's Arms Hotel, Kirkby Stephen

EARLY DAYS An insight into our Society, founded 1866, and into the age itself! Illustrated snippets taken from Proceedings, for many years part of the Transactions.


This excursion had all the flavour of a real expedition. The members set off from 'base camp' in Kirkby Stephen and headed for Stainmore, that vast, bleak expanse of high, wild moorland dividing North Western England from the North East.

Such travellers assuredly needed to be steely and resourceful, prepared for challenges of conditions and terrain as they made their way in their open carriages to what must have seemed like the roof of the world. Not theirs the world of smooth roads, heated motor cars, the mobile telephone...


Glendalough, Co, Wicklow
Glendalough, Co, Wicklow
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We enjoy exploring, reading about and researching Cumbria's varied and rich historical and archaeological heritage. Cumbria offers prehistoric circles and stone axe factories; Roman military sites a-plenty; Saxon and Viking antiquities such as Bewcastle Cross in the far north east of the county and Gosforth Cross in the mid-west; pele towers and castles which tell of Border raids and turbulent medieval days; and evidence of a later more peaceful existence - in the numerous parish churches and gracious houses. Seafaring and diverse industries have played a major role in Cumbria's development and there is much of both available to be explored. (P.S. We also venture farther afield!)


We publish a Newsletter three times a year.

The current (Summer 2016) contents include:

  • Cover story. From Ravenglass to Muncaster Mill, May Walk 2016
  • The Clare Fell Fund
  • New Transactions on line officially launched at the AGM
  • Victoria County History of Cumbria, project update
  • Research and Grants Committee report
  • Coniston Copper
  • Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group
  • A 'new' old map of Hadrian's Wall
  • Details of forthcoming CWAAS 150th anniversary events for the months July to November 2016
  • and more ....
Newsletter front page
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New Items

Some copies of this booklet are still available for members.


From 16th December The Dock Museum Barrow and The Beacon Museum will be showing the CWAAS exhibition


Provide feedback on the 150th year activity programme.


CWAAS joins national set-up See new EARLY DAYS snippet

Burlington House, headquarters of the Society of Antiquaries of London.



The CUMBRIA COUNTY HISTORY TRUST has CWAAS support. Its website includes latest project news and excellent Gallery. See aquatints from West's 'Guide to the Lakes' (1796) and illustr. from W.G. Collingwood's 1932 'The Lake Counties', eg Mardale below..

Mardale image
Newsletter Extracts

This panel will feature extracts from old newsletters which will change on a regular basis.

Lancashire over Sands K in F, rest., Elaine Varley. Click on this image for a larger version.
Lancashire over Sands K in F, rest., Elaine Varley
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