Today is   Last update 22-01-2016
E Mail Lists

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.


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

Halton Viking Bowl
[Click picture for larger version]


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.

Allithwaite    Photo by  Margaret Edwards. Click on this image for a larger version.

Allithwaite Photo by Margaret Edwards
[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.


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.

Westmorland  Casterton rest., M Kingsbury. Click on this image for a larger version.
Westmorland Casterton rest., M Kingsbury
[Click picture for larger version]

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

Welcome to Cumbria Past

Furness Outing 1895. Click on this image for a larger version.
Furness Outing 1895
[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
Barbon Cross
Barbon Cross

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.


Think of the rigours of going on excursions! Long and arduous walks at times; open carriages; a scarcity of provision for wayfarers compared with what is available in our own day, early in the C21; these would make Society forays truly taxing, especially in bad weather.

To belong to an antiquarian and archaeological society and visit many parts of Cumberland and Westmorland was to take up a challenge, even to 'rough it'. But members were up to the challenge, women and men alike. Yes, good victuals were important!


Hutton in the Forest, Cumbria
Hutton in the Forest, Cumbria
[Click picture for larger version]

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 (Autumn 2015) contents include:

  • CWAAS Summer Evening at Kirklinton Hall, June 2015
  • Walk Around Glenridding, July 2015
  • 2016 – A year to Remember! President’s notice
  • Research & Grants Committee Report
  • ‘Kendal’s Real Queen’: David Starkey, Kendal, June 2015
  • The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Members’ Weekend in Cumbria, July 2015
  • CVBG Hosts National Conference, July 2015
  • The Future for Cumbria Archive Service
  • and more ....
Newsletter front page
New Items

Guided walk and display of finds and plans


An urban and rural walk.



A walk in association with Newland Furnace Trust

Newland Furnace


The May walk between these two locations.


CWAAS joins national set-up See new EARLY DAYS snippet

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