Today is   Last update 3-05-2016

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.


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

Ninekirks church interior
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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.

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

Flookburgh 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
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

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

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.
[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
C19 engraving of Gilsland Spa
C19 engraving of Gilsland Spa

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.

Crying wolf.....

We're all familiar with the story of the boy who cried 'Wolf!' as a joke, with the result that when he shouted 'Wolf!' in earnest nobody took the slightest notice, and havoc broke out.

But what has this to do with CWAAS?

Ah, well, you see, once there was a great forest between Talkin and Hayton; and that forest was infested with wolves; so, not surprisingly, the people of Talkin didn't like to go through the forest, not even on the way to bury their dead.......

Well, to hear the rest of the tale....


Flint Castle
Flint 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 (Spring 2016) contents include:

  • CWAAS Banner Display at Carlisle Archive Centre
  • Cumbria Archive Service - update on opening hours
  • Victoria County History of Cumbria. Project update January 2016
  • Searching Transactions - are you ready?
  • ’Magna Carta’ by David Carpenter, November 2015. Joint Carlisle Regional Group & CWAAS lecture
  • Urban Walk, Cockermouth, October 2015.
  • The Solway Bog Burst of 1771
  • From Conception to Birth: realising the CWAAS archive-based display at Carlisle Archive Centre
  • and more ....
Newsletter front page
Newsletter Extracts

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

Lancashire over Sands records distances over sands. Click on this image for a larger version.
Lancashire over Sands records distances over sands
[Click picture for larger version]

New Items

Changed details for the 23rd July

The Friends Meeting House, Penrith


Celebratory anniversary dinner and book launch, 2016


10th September 2016 at the Rheged Centre, Penrith.


Guided walk and display of finds and plans



CWAAS joins national set-up See new EARLY DAYS snippet

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