Anniversary dinner, Dame Rosemary Cramp addresses the guests. Photo Kevin Grice
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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!
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.
You want adventure? How about this, in 1889?
You want adventure?
'Next morning the members were seated in five char-a-bancs at eight o'clock....... The solitary hill farm, Fell Foot, was reached shortly before ten o'clock, and here the first halt was made.....From this point everybody had to walk up the sinuous road over Wrynose....... The party, both ladies and gentlemen, began the long tussle with the difficulties of the 1250 feet climb to the top of Wrynose Pass with light hearts..... How anyone can reasonably expect such steep mountain tracks to be safely traversed by heavy carriages passes belief. There are sharp drops of one in three, and breakneck turns in both passes which careful folk would only face on fell ponies.....'
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 2016) contents include: