Today is   Last update 23-11-2017

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.

150 Years

You can still access the 150 year page where there are photos of events as well as viewable versions of all posters used.


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
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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

Milburn Maypole
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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 Bursary Fund. In addition all CWAAS Committees are widely involved in heritage matters throughout Cumbria, making their expertise available in many ways.

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.

Troutbeck        Photo by     W.D. Shannon. Click on this image for a larger version.

Troutbeck Photo by W.D. Shannon
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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.

Our Publications

Wartime Cumbria 1939-1945

Wartime Cumbria 1939-1945

"a very thorough and well-documented account of a troubled time . . . an important contribution to the history of the county", Cumberland Times

Exploring Antiquities and Archaeology in the North West

Exploring Antiquities and Archaeology in the North West

The Websters of Kendal

The Websters of Kendal

The Parish Registers of St James

The Parish Registers of St James

John Denton’s History of Cumberland - only a few copies left. More ...

Welcome to Cumbria Past

Chloe Gavican and Jane Platt with the Publications display. Photo Chester Forster.. Click on this image for a larger version.
Chloe Gavican and Jane Platt with the Publications display. Photo Chester Forster.
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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

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 places the CWAS members visited!

*Think of the modes of transport available!

*Belonging to CWAAS took members to sites and areas not easily accessible. The element of adventure was strong.

*But the Society could not go forward without members' willingness to stand for the Council and Committees. Excursions could not take place without members who were willing to make the necessary arrangements.

*The members were appreciative and had a strong sense of duty towards our heritage, antiquarian and archaeological.

*They gave their active support to Society affairs, and were also generous in making available their personal resources to ensure that important ventures (ventures which the subscription alone could not possibly underwrite) could be undertaken in various branches of study and scholarship.

*To get a glimpse of such matters, and of how our activities developed and our publications grew and grew


Aydon Castle
Aydon Castle
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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 (Autumn 2017) contents include:

  • Cover story. Turma: Hadrian's Cavalry Charge at Carlisle
  • Cymry in the North: The North Britons from the Sixth century to the Tenth
  • The Library of Canon Henry Hutton (c.1607-1655): An exhibition in the Cathedral Fratry, September 2017
  • Cumbria Vernacular Buildings Group
  • Telling it Like it Was
  • Morecambe Bay fishing oral history project wins national award
  • Rusland Horizons Mapped History Project
  • 'Every window tells a story': John Gandy of St Helena
  • The Kendal Flood of 1954
  • Woodlands in the Lake District and their Management
  • World Heritage Status for the Lake District
  • VCH Cumbria Project update
  • and more ....
Newsletter front page
New Items

Cardiff University, 30th April - 1st May.

'Barbara dressed to make calls' by Edith


Cardiff University, 30th April - 1st May.

'Barbara dressed to make calls' by Edith


A research project by the Universities of Keele, Staffordshire, and Sussex


University of Cumbria, Carlisle, 28th April 2018.  Only a few places are now left.


Saturday 28th April 2018. The lived Experience of Women in Roman Cumbria


7th April 2018, Tullie House Carlisle


A new book edited by Keith J. Stringer and Angus J.L. Winchester.


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.

Cumberland - Lettering down post. Gosling. Click on this image for a larger version.
Cumberland - Lettering down post. Gosling
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