Cumbria

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  Boundary of Cumbria
  Historic Cumberland
  Historic Westmorland
  Historic Lancashire
   West Riding of Yorkshire

The Windscale fire of 10 October 1957 was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain's history. [25]

Cumbria was created in 1974 from the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, the Cumberland County Borough of Carlisle, along with the North Lonsdale or Furness part of Lancashire, usually referred to as "Lancashire North of the Sands", (including the county borough of Barrow-in-Furness) and, from the West Riding of Yorkshire, the Sedbergh Rural District. [13] Between 1974 and 2023 it was governed by Cumbria County Council but in 2023 the county council was abolished and replaced by Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness.

On 2 June 2010, taxi driver Derrick Bird killed 12 people and injured 11 others in a shooting spree that spanned over 24 kilometres (15 mi) along the Cumbrian coastline. [26]

Local newspapers The Westmorland Gazette and Cumberland and Westmorland Herald continue to use the name of their historic counties. Other publications, such as local government promotional material, describe the area as "Cumbria", as does the Lake District National Park Authority.

Geography

Topographic map of Cumbria Cumbria SRTM.png
Topographic map of Cumbria

Cumbria is the most northwesterly ceremonial county of England. Most of Cumbria is mountainous, with the majority of the county being situated in the Lake District while the Pennines, consisting of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, lie at the eastern and south-east areas of the county. At 978 metres (3,209 ft) Scafell Pike is the highest point in Cumbria and in England. Windermere is the largest natural lake in England.

The Lancaster Canal runs from Preston into southern Cumbria and is partly in use. The Ulverston Canal which once reached to Morecambe Bay is maintained although it was closed in 1945. The Solway Coast and Arnside and Silverdale AONB's lie in the lowland areas of the county, to the north and south respectively.

Boundaries and divisions

The northernmost and southernmost points in Cumbria are just west of Deadwater, Northumberland and South Walney respectively. Kirkby Stephen (close to Tan Hill, North Yorkshire) and St Bees Head are the most easterly and westerly points of the county. The boundaries are along the Irish Sea to Morecambe Bay in the west, and along the Pennines to the east. Cumbria's northern boundary stretches from the Solway Firth from the Solway Plain eastward along the border with Scotland.

Cumbria is bordered by Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Lancashire in England, and Dumfries and Roxburgh, Ettrick and Lauderdale in Scotland.

High Cup Nick, in the North Pennines High Cup Nick.jpg
High Cup Nick, in the North Pennines

Economy

BAE Systems Submarine Solutions in Barrow-in-Furness has a workforce of around 12,000 people. DDH, Barrow-in-Furness.jpg
BAE Systems Submarine Solutions in Barrow-in-Furness has a workforce of around 12,000 people.

Many large companies and organisations are based in Cumbria. The county council itself employs around 17,000 individuals, while the largest private employer in Cumbria, BAE Systems in Barrow employs around 12,000 with further job growth associated with new contracts expected, the Sellafield nuclear processing site, has a workforce of 10,000. [28] Below is a list of some of the county's largest companies and employers (excluding services such as Cumbria Constabulary, Cumbria Fire and Rescue and the NHS in Cumbria), categorised by district.

Tourism

The entrance to Whinlatter Forest Park Whinlatter Forest Park Sign.jpg
The entrance to Whinlatter Forest Park
Sizergh Castle Way in - geograph.org.uk - 406894.jpg
Sizergh Castle
Muncaster Castle Muncaster Castle morris edited.jpg
Muncaster Castle

The largest and most widespread industry in Cumbria is tourism. The Lake District National Park alone receives some 15.8 million visitors every year. [29] Despite this, fewer than 50,000 people reside permanently within the Lake District: mostly in Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere, Coniston, Keswick, Gosforth, Grasmere and Windermere. [29] Over 36,000 Cumbrians are employed in the tourism industry which adds £1.1 billion a year to the county's economy. The Lake District and county as a whole attract visitors from across the UK, [29] Europe, North America and the Far East (particularly Japan). [29] The tables below show the twenty most-visited attractions in Cumbria in 2009. (Not all visitor attractions provided data to Cumbria Tourism who collated the list. Notable examples are Furness Abbey, the Lakes Aquarium and South Lakes Safari Zoo, the last of which would almost certainly rank within the top five). [30]

Cumbria
Derwent Water, Lake District, Cumbria - June 2009.jpg
The Citadel, Court Square, Carlisle, Cumbria 02.jpg
St Bees south head (Tomlin).JPG
Cumbria UK locator map 2010.svg
Location of Cumbria within England
Coordinates: 54°30′N3°15′W / 54.500°N 3.250°W / 54.500; -3.250
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Established1 April 1974
Established by Local Government Act 1972
Time zone UTC±00:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+01:00 (British Summer Time)
Members of Parliament 6 MPs
Police Cumbria Constabulary
Largest city Carlisle
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Alexander Scott [1]
High Sheriff Samantha Scott [2]
Area6,767 km2 (2,613 sq mi)
  Ranked 3rd of 48
Population (2021)498,888
  Ranked 41st of 48
Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
Ethnicity
2021 census [3]
RankAttractionLocationVisitors
1 Windermere Lake Cruises Bowness-on-Windermere1,313,807
2RhegedPenrith439,568
3 Ullswater Steamers Glenridding348,000
4 Whinlatter Forest Park and Visitor Centre Whinlatter252,762
5 Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Carlisle251,808
6 Grizedale Forest Park and Visitor Centre Grizedale175,033
7 Carlisle Cathedral Carlisle166,141
8 Brockhole Lake District Visitor Centre Windermere135,539
9 Hill Top Hawkshead103,682
10 Sizergh Castle Sizergh Castle90,063
RankAttractionLocationVisitors
11 Cumberland Pencil Museum Keswick80,100
12 Muncaster Castle Ravenglass78,474
13 Dock Museum Barrow-in-Furness73,239
14The BeaconWhitehaven71,602
15 Holker Hall Cartmel58,060
16 Carlisle Castle Carlisle56,957
17 Beatrix Potter Gallery Hawkshead47,244
18Lake District Wildlife Park [31] Bassenthwaite45,559
19 The Homes of Football Ambleside49,661
20 Cartmel Priory Cartmel43,672

Economic output

This is a chart of the trend of regional gross value added (GVA) of East and West Cumbria at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by the Office for National Statistics

Gross value added by each sector (£millions)
YearEast CumbriaWest Cumbria
Regional GVA [32] Agriculture [33] Industry [34] Services [35] Regional GVA [32] Agriculture [33] Industry [34] Services [35]
19952,6791489021,6292,246631,294888
20002,8431208091,9142,415531,2121,150
20033,3881299242,3352,870601,4201,390

Governance

Local

Cumbria is governed by two unitary authorities, Cumberland Council and Westmorland and Furness Council. The Cumberland unitary authority area covers the north and west of Cumbria, and Westmorland and Furness the south and east; they are named after the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, but have different boundaries. [36] Cumberland has had a Labour majority administration since the 2022 Cumberland Council election, and Westmorland and Furness has had a Liberal Democrat majority administration since the 2022 Westmorland and Furness Council election. [37] [38]

Between 1974 and 2023 Cumbria was administered by Cumbria County Council and six district councils: Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland. These were abolished on 1 April 2023, when the two unitary authorities were established. [39]

The Duchy of Lancaster, the private estate of the sovereign, exercises some rights of the Crown in the County Palatine of Lancaster, which includes the Furness area of Cumbria. [40]

National

There are currently six parliamentary constituencies in Cumbria: Barrow and Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Penrith and the Border, Westmorland and Lonsdale, and Workington. Five were won by the Conservative Party in the 2019 United Kingdom general election, and Westmorland and Lonsdale by the Liberal Democrats.

Constituency1983198719921997200120052010201520172019
Barrow and Furness CON  Cecil Franks LAB  John Hutton LAB  John Woodcock CON Simon Fell
Carlisle LAB  Ronald Lewis LAB  Eric Martlew CON John Stevenson
Copeland LAB  Jack Cunningham LAB  Jamie Reed CON Trudy Harrison
Penrith and The Border CON  David Maclean CON  Rory Stewart CON Neil Hudson
Westmorland and Lonsdale CON  Michael Jopling CON  Tim Collins LD Tim Farron
Workington LAB  Dale Campbell-Savours LAB  Tony Cunningham LAB  Sue Hayman CON Mark Jenkinson
2019 General Election Results in Cumbria
PartyVotes%Change from 2017SeatsChange from 2017
Conservative 143,61552.4%Increase2.svg3.6%5Increase2.svg2
Labour 79,40228.9%Decrease2.svg7.3%0Decrease2.svg2
Liberal Democrats 39,42614.4%Increase2.svg2.6%10
Greens 4,2231.5%Increase2.svg0.8%00
Brexit 3,8671.4%new00
Others3,0441.1%Increase2.svg0.7%00
Total274,313100.06

Education

The University of Cumbria's Fusehill Campus in Carlisle Skiddaw Building, University of Cumbria - geograph.org.uk - 715574.jpg
The University of Cumbria's Fusehill Campus in Carlisle

Although Cumbria has a comprehensive system almost fully, there is one state grammar school in Penrith. There are 42 state secondary schools and 10 independent schools. The more rural secondary schools tend to have sixth forms (although in Barrow-in-Furness district, no schools have sixth forms due to the only sixth college in Cumbria being located in the town) and this is the same for three schools in Allerdale and South Lakeland, and one in the other districts. Chetwynde is also the only school in Barrow to educate children from nursery all the way to year 11.

Colleges of further education in Cumbria include:

The University of Cumbria is one of the UK's newest universities, having been established in 2007. It is at present the only university in Cumbria and has campuses across the county, together with Lancaster and London.

Transport

Road

The M6 motorway and West Coast Main Line near Grayrigg Forest Lune Valley from Grayrigg Forest.jpg
The M6 motorway and West Coast Main Line near Grayrigg Forest

The M6 is the only motorway that runs through Cumbria. Kendal and Penrith are amongst its primary destinations. Further north it becomes the A74(M) at the border with Scotland north of Carlisle. Major A roads within Cumbria include:

  • UK road A6.svg A6 (Luton, Bedfordshire to Carlisle via Kendal and Penrith)
  • UK road A66.svg A66 (Workington to Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire via Keswick and M6 Junction 40)
  • UK road A69.svg A69 (Carlisle to Newcastle upon Tyne via Brampton and Hexham)
  • UK road A590.svg A590 (M6 Junction 36 to Barrow-in-Furness via Ulverston)
  • UK road A591.svg A591 (Sizergh to Bothel via Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick)
  • UK road A592.svg A592 (Penrith to Newby Bridge via M6 Junction 40, Windermere and Bowness)
  • UK road A595.svg A595 (Carlisle to Dalton-in-Furness via Whitehaven and Workington)
  • UK road A596.svg A596 (Carlisle to Workington)

Several bus companies run services in Cumbria serving the main towns and villages in the county, with some services running to neighbouring areas such as Lancaster. Stagecoach North West is the largest; it has depots in Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Kendal and Workington. Stagecoach's flagship X6 route connects Barrow-in-Furness and Kendal in south Cumbria.

Air

There are only two airports in the county: Carlisle Lake District and Barrow/Walney Island. Both airports formerly served scheduled passenger flights and both are proposing expansions and renovations to handle domestic and European flights in the near future. The nearest international airports to south Cumbria are Blackpool, Manchester, Liverpool John Lennon and Teesside. North Cumbria is closer to Newcastle, Glasgow Prestwick and Glasgow International.

Ports

Barrow-in-Furness is one of the country's largest shipbuilding centres, but the Port of Barrow is only minor, operated by Associated British Ports alongside the Port of Silloth in Allerdale. There are no ferry links from any port or harbour along the Cumbria coast.

Rail

The busiest railway stations in Cumbria are Carlisle, Barrow-in-Furness, Penrith and Oxenholme Lake District. The 399 miles (642 km) West Coast Main Line runs through the Cumbria countryside, adjacent to the M6 motorway. The Cumbrian Coast Line connects Barrow-in-Furness to Carlisle and is a vital link in the west of the county. Other railways in Cumbria are the Windermere Branch Line, most of the Furness Line and much of the Settle-Carlisle Railway.

Demography

Cumbria's largest settlement and only city is Carlisle, in the north of the county. The largest town, Barrow-in-Furness, in the south, is slightly smaller. The county's population is largely rural: it has the second-lowest population density among English counties, and has only five towns with a population of over 20,000. Cumbria is also one of the country's most ethnically homogeneous counties, with 95.1% of the population categorised as White British (around 470,900 of the 495,000 Cumbrians). [41] However, the larger towns have ethnic makeups that are closer to the national average. The 2001 census indicated that Christianity was the religion with the most adherents in the county.

2010 ONS estimates placed the number of foreign-born (non-United Kingdom) people living in Cumbria at around 14,000 and foreign nationals at 6,000. [42] The 2001 UK Census showed the following most common countries of birth for residents of Cumbria that year:

  • Flag of England.svg England, 454,137
  • Flag of Scotland.svg Scotland, 16,628
  • Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Wales, 3,471
  • Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Northern Ireland, 2,289
  • Flag of Germany.svg Germany, 1,438
  • Flag of Ireland.svg Republic of Ireland, 1,359
  • Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa, 603
  • Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada, 581
  • Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, 531
  • Flag of the United States.svg United States, 493
  • Flag of India.svg India, 476
  • Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong, 417
  • Flag of Italy.svg Italy, 249
  • Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand, 241
  • Flag of France.svg France, 197
  • Flag of Poland.svg Poland, 193
  • Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, 174
  • Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands, 167
  • Flag of Spain.svg Spain, 166
  • Flag of Singapore.svg Singapore, 160
Population totals for Cumbria
YearPop.±% p.a.
1801 173,017    
1811 193,139+1.11%
1821 225,555+1.56%
1831 242,320+0.72%
1841 255,603+0.54%
1851 274,957+0.73%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1861 320,257+1.54%
1871 365,556+1.33%
1881 410,856+1.18%
1891 434,867+0.57%
1901 437,364+0.06%
1911 440,485+0.07%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1921 441,483+0.02%
1931 442,693+0.03%
1941 456,833+0.31%
1951 471,897+0.32%
1961 473,706+0.04%
1971 475,669+0.04%
YearPop.±% p.a.
1981 471,693−0.08%
1991 489,191+0.36%
2001 487,607−0.03%
2011 499,900+0.25%
2014 499,800−0.01%
Pre-1974 statistics were gathered from local government areas that are now comprised by Cumbria
Source: Great Britain Historical GIS. [43] [44]
Population of Cumbria by district (2021) [45]
DistrictLand areaPopulationDensity
(/km2)
(km2)(%)People(%)
Cumberland3,012273,81591
Westmorland and Furness3,756227,00660
Cumbria6,768100%500,821100%

Settlements

Sport

Running

Fell running is a popular sport in Cumbria, with an active calendar of competitions taking place throughout the year. Cumbria is also home to several of the most active orienteering clubs in the UK as well as the Lakes 5 Days competition that takes place every four years.

Football codes

Workington is home to the ball game known as Uppies and Downies, [46] a traditional version of football, with its origins in medieval football or an even earlier form. [47] Players from outside Workington also take part, especially fellow West Cumbrians from Whitehaven and Maryport. [48]

Cumbria formerly had minor American football clubs, the Furness Phantoms (the club is now defunct, its last name was Morecambe Bay Storm) and the Carlisle Kestrels. [49]

Association

Brunton Park, the home of Carlisle United Brunton Park Welcome.jpg
Brunton Park, the home of Carlisle United

Barrow and Carlisle United are the only professional football teams in Cumbria. Carlisle United attract support from across Cumbria and beyond, with many Cumbrian "ex-pats" travelling to see their games, both home and away.[ citation needed ]

Workington—who are always known locally as "the reds"—are a well-supported non-league team,[ citation needed ] having been relegated from the Football League in the 1970s. Workington made a rapid rise up the non league ladder and in 2007/08 competed with Barrow in the Conference North. Barrow were then promoted to the Conference Premier in 2007/08. In 2020, Barrow were promoted to the Football League as a result of winning the National League.

Rugby codes

Rugby union is popular in the county's north and east with teams such as Furness RUFC & Hawcoat Park RUFC (South Cumbria), Workington RUFC (Workington Zebras), Whitehaven RUFC, Carlisle RUFC, Creighton RUFC, Aspatria RUFC, Wigton RUFC, Kendal RUFC, Kirkby Lonsdale RUFC, Keswick RUFC, Cockermouth RUFC, Upper Eden RUFC and Penrith RUFC.

Craven Park, home of Barrow Raiders Craven Park, Barrow.jpg
Craven Park, home of Barrow Raiders

Rugby league is a very popular sport in south and West Cumbria. Barrow, Whitehaven and Workington play in the Rugby League Championships. Amateur teams; Wath Brow Hornets, Askam, Egremont Rangers, Kells, Barrow Island, Hensingham and Millom play in the National Conference.

Bat-and-ball

Cumbria County Cricket Club is one of the cricket clubs that constitute the National Counties in the English domestic cricket structure. The club, based in Carlisle, competes in the National Counties Cricket Championship and the NCCA Knockout Trophy. The club also play some home matches in Workington, as well as other locations. Cumbrian club cricket teams play in the North Lancashire and Cumbria League.

Cumbria is home to the Cartmel Valley Lions, an amateur baseball team based in Cartmel.

Wrestling

Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling is an ancient and well-practised tradition in the county with a strong resemblance to Scottish Backhold.

In the 21st century Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling along with other aspects of Lakeland culture are practised at the Grasmere Sports and Show, an annual meeting held every year since 1852 on the August Bank Holiday.

The origin of this form of wrestling is a matter of debate, with some describing it as having evolved from Norse wrestling brought over by Viking invaders, [50] while other historians associate it with the Cornish and Gouren styles [51] indicating that it may have developed out of a longer-standing Celtic tradition. [52]

Racing

Cumbria Kart Racing Club is based at the Lakeland Circuit, Rowrah, between Cockermouth and Egremont Lakeland Circuit. The track is currently a venue for rounds of both major UK national karting championships About Cumbria Kart Racing Club. Formula One world champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button both raced karts at Rowrah many times in the formative stages of their motor sport careers, [53] while other F1 drivers, past and present, to have competed there include Johnny Herbert, Anthony Davidson, Allan McNish, Ralph Firman, Paul di Resta and David Coulthard, who hailed from just over the nearby Anglo-Scottish border and regarded Rowrah as his home circuit, becoming Cumbria Kart Racing Club Champion in 1985 in succession to McNish (di Resta also taking the CKRC title subsequently). [54]

Workington Comets were a Workington-based professional speedway team, [55] which competed in the British Speedway Championship. [56]

Food

Cumbria is the UK county with the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants, with seven in this classification in the Great Britain and Ireland Michelin Guide of 2021. Traditional Cumbrian cuisine has been influenced by the spices and molasses that were imported into Whitehaven in the 18th century. The Cumberland sausage (which has a protected geographical status) is a well-recognised result of this. Other regional specialities include Herdwick mutton and the salt-marsh raised lamb of the Cartmel Peninsula. [57]

Dialect influences

Celtic

Anglo-Saxon/Viking

Scandinavian/Norse/Dane

Normans

Cumbric

Media

Two evening newspapers are published daily in Cumbria. The News and Star focuses largely on Carlisle and the surrounding areas of north and west Cumbria, and the North-West Evening Mail is based in Barrow-in-Furness and covers news from across Furness and the South Lakes. The Cumberland and Westmorland Herald and The Westmorland Gazette are weekly newspapers based in Penrith and Kendal respectively. The Egremont 2Day newspaper, formerly Egremont Today when affiliated with the Labour Party, was a prominent monthly publication - founded by Peter Watson (and edited by him until his death in 2014) in 1990 until July 2018. In February 2020 The Herdwick News, run by the last editor of The Egremont 2Day, was launched and is an independent online news publication covering the county of Cumbria and the North West.

Due to the size of Cumbria the county spans two television zones: BBC North East and Cumbria and ITV Border in the north and BBC North West and ITV Granada in the south. Heart North West, Greatest Hits Radio Cumbria & South West Scotland and Smooth Lake District are the most popular local radio stations throughout the county, with BBC Radio Cumbria being the only station that is aimed at Cumbria as a whole.

The Australian-New Zealand feature film The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey (1988) is set in Cumbria during the onset of the Black Death in 14th-century Europe.

Cumbria is host to a number of festivals, including Kendal Calling (actually held in Penrith since 2009) [69] [70] and Kendal Mountain Festival.

Places of interest

Furness Abbey Furness Abbey 03.jpg
Furness Abbey
Hadrian's Wall Hadrian's Wall at Birdoswald - geograph.org.uk - 552095.jpg
Hadrian's Wall
Muncaster Castle Pele Tower at Muncaster Castle (geograph 6058924).jpg
Muncaster Castle
Key
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
UKAL icon.svg Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country parks.svg Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry Commission
HR icon.svg Heritage railway
HH icon.svg Historic House
AP Icon.svg Places of Worship
Museum icon.svg
Museum icon (red).svg
Museum (free/not free)
NTE icon.svg National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

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Westmorland and Furness is a unitary authority area in Cumbria, England. The economy is mainly focused on tourism around both the Lake District and Cumbria Coast, shipbuilding and the port in Barrow-in-Furness, and agriculture in the rural parts of the area.

References

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