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Today is   Last update 9-08-2015
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

Three shires stone where historic Westmorland, Lancashire and Cumberland met.
[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.

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

Sedbergh Photo by Margaret Edwards
[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

Aldingham Motte, Cumbria

Aldingham Motte, Cumbria

Three publications, The Diary of Isaac Fletcher,
The Accounts of Sir Daniel Fleming and
Brougham Castle, have all been reduced in price by 50%.
The listing now shows the new prices.
Welcome to Cumbria Past

Remains of hydro electric plant, Stenketh bridge, Kirkby Stephen.  [Photo: A Hamilton-Gibney]. Click on this image for a larger version.
Remains of hydro electric plant, Stenketh bridge, Kirkby Stephen. [Photo: A Hamilton-Gibney]
[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
The Morland Viking Sword on display in its opened case.
The Morland Viking Sword on display in its opened case.

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.

The things you find in cupboards!

Friendship bonds can be forged by this kind of thing, you know! When CWAAS Hon. Fellow the late Ben Edwards published his book on Viking artefacts of North West England, he was contacted by CWAAS member the late Rev'd Canon Gervase Markham of Morland. Gervase and Ben exchanged letters and chat; and in due course Gervase told Ben he was wondering why Ben had made no reference to the Viking sword in his, Gervase's, possession. Ben explained that the sword.....

Well, if you'd like to know the explanation


Sweetheart Abbey 1993, Photo Ian Brodie
Sweetheart Abbey 1993, Photo Ian Brodie
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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 2015) contents include:

  • Ancient & Veteran Trees of Cumbria
  • Annual General Meeting, Carlisle, April 2015
  • 'The Church in a Changing Landscape: the Diocese of Carlisle 1814-1855', book launch and lecture, May 2015
  • May Walk, Wetheral, May 2015
  • Book Launch 'Cattle Droving, Cotton and Landownership', February 2015
  • Kendal Museum & the CWAAS 150th anniversary project
  • 'Industry and the Arts in Cumbria', Cumbria Industrial History Society Conference, April 2015
  • and more ....
Newsletter front page
New Items

The main event runs from 25th to 29th September.


Kendal Library on Friday, 13th November at 7.00pm.


3rd October. Flyer is now available with details


A special lecture in Tullie House. 14th November 2015


King John was not a good man. 7th September 2015.


Magna Carta and the Northern Barons. 28th September 2015.


CWAAS joins national set-up See new EARLY DAYS snippet

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


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
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