Westmorland

Last updated
Westmorland
FlagOfWestmorland.png
Flag
Westmorland en 1851.svg
Ancient extent of Westmorland
Area
  1831485,990 acres (1,966.7 km2) [1]
  1911505,330 acres (2,045.0 km2) [2]
  1961504,917 acres (2,043.33 km2) [2]
Population
  191163,575 [2]
  196167,180 [2]
History
  Origin Barony of Kendal,
Barony of Westmorland
  Created13th century
  Succeeded by Cumbria
Status Historic county (current) [3] [4] [5]
Ceremonial county (until 1974)
Administrative county (1889-1974)
Chapman code WES
GovernmentWestmorland County Council (1889-1974)
   HQ Appleby (historic county town)
County Hall, Kendal (1889-1974)
Westmorland arms.png
Arms of Westmorland County Council
Subdivisions
  Type Baronies, Wards (ancient)

Westmorland ( /ˈwɛstmərlənd/ ; formerly also spelt Westmoreland; [6] even older spellings are Westmerland and Westmereland) is a historic county in north west England. It formed an administrative county between 1889 and 1974, after which the whole county was administered by the new administrative county of Cumbria. In 2013, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Westmorland. [3] [4] [5]

Historic counties of England Geographical designations for areas of England, based on historical traditions

The historic counties of England are areas that were established for administration by the Normans, in many cases based on earlier kingdoms and shires created by the Anglo-Saxons and others. They are alternatively known as ancient counties, traditional counties, former counties or simply as counties. In the centuries that followed their establishment, as well as their administrative function, the counties also helped define local culture and identity. This role continued even after the counties ceased to be used for administration after the creation of administrative counties in 1889, which were themselves amended by further local government reforms in the years following.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

An administrative county was an administrative division in England and Wales and Ireland from 1888 to 1974, used for the purposes of local government. They are now abolished, although in Northern Ireland their former areas are used as the basis for lieutenancy.

Contents

Early history

At the time of Domesday Book in 1086, parts of the county were considered either to form part of Yorkshire or to be within the separate Kingdom of Strathclyde. The Normans conquered the area that is now Cumbria in 1092 during the reign of William II and created the baronies of Kendal and Westmorland. These were originally distinct jurisdictions with separate sheriffs, but were formed into a single county of Westmorland in 1226/7. [7] Before 1226 the Barony of Kendal was connected to the Earldom or Honour of Lancaster while that of Westmorland was part of the Earldom of Carlisle.

Domesday Book 11th-century survey of landholding in England as well as the surviving manuscripts of the survey

Domesday Book is a manuscript record of the "Great Survey" of much of England and parts of Wales completed in 1086 by order of King William the Conqueror. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states:

Then, at the midwinter [1085], was the king in Gloucester with his council .... After this had the king a large meeting, and very deep consultation with his council, about this land; how it was occupied, and by what sort of men. Then sent he his men over all England into each shire; commissioning them to find out "How many hundreds of hides were in the shire, what land the king himself had, and what stock upon the land; or, what dues he ought to have by the year from the shire."

Yorkshire Historic county of Northern England

Yorkshire, formally known as the County of York, is a historic county of Northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Due to its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform. Throughout these changes, Yorkshire has continued to be recognised as a geographical territory and cultural region. The name is familiar and well understood across the United Kingdom and is in common use in the media and the military, and also features in the titles of current areas of civil administration such as North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and East Riding of Yorkshire.

Kingdom of Strathclyde medieval kingdom in northern Britain

Strathclyde, originally Cumbric: Ystrad Clud or Alclud, was one of the early medieval kingdoms of the Britons in what the Welsh call Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking parts of what is now southern Scotland and northern England. The kingdom developed during the post-Roman period. It is also known as Alt Clut, a Brittonic term for Dumbarton Castle, the medieval capital of the region. It may have had its origins with the Brythonic Damnonii people of Ptolemy's Geography.

The historic county boundaries are with Cumberland to the north, County Durham and Yorkshire to the east, and Lancashire to the south and west. Windermere forms part of the western border with Lancashire north of the sands, and Ullswater part of the border with Cumberland.

Cumberland Historic county of England

Cumberland is a historic county of North West England that had an administrative function from the 12th century until 1974. It was bordered by Northumberland to the east, County Durham to the southeast, Westmorland and Lancashire to the south, and the Scottish counties of Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire to the north. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now forms part of Cumbria.

County Durham County of England

County Durham is a county in North East England. The county town is Durham, a cathedral city. The largest settlement is Darlington, closely followed by Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees. It borders Tyne and Wear to the north east, Northumberland to the north, Cumbria to the west and North Yorkshire to the south. The county's historic boundaries stretch between the rivers Tyne and Tees, thus including places such as Gateshead, Jarrow, South Shields and Sunderland.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

The highest point of the county is Helvellyn at 3,117 ft (950m). According to the 1831 census the county covered an area of 485,990 acres (1,966.7 km2). [1]

Helvellyn mountain in the English Lake District

Helvellyn is a mountain in the English Lake District, the highest point of the Helvellyn range, a north-south line of mountains to the north of Ambleside, between the lakes of Thirlmere and Ullswater.

Appleby, the historic county town, formed a historic borough and was not reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, although reform came in 1885. Kendal was reformed as a municipal borough in 1835.

Appleby-in-Westmorland village in Cumbria, England

Appleby-in-Westmorland is a market town and civil parish in the Eden district, in the administrative county of Cumbria, in North West England. It is situated within a loop of the River Eden. In 2011 the parish had a population of 3,048. It is in the historic county of Westmorland, of which it is the traditional county town.

Municipal Corporations Act 1835 United Kingdom legislation

The Municipal Corporations Act 1835, sometimes known as the Municipal Reform Act, was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed local government in the incorporated boroughs of England and Wales. The legislation was part of the reform programme of the Whigs and followed the Reform Act 1832, which had abolished most of the rotten boroughs for parliamentary purposes.

Kendal town and civil parish in South Lakeland, Cumbria, England

Kendal, once Kirkby in Kendal or Kirkby Kendal, is a market town and civil parish in the South Lakeland District of Cumbria, England. Historically in Westmorland, it lies some 8 miles (13 km) south-east of Windermere, 19 miles (31 km) north of Lancaster, 23 miles (37 km) north-east of Barrow-in-Furness and 38 miles (61 km) north-west of Skipton, in the valley (dale) of the River Kent, from which comes its name. The 2011 census counted a population of 28,586. making it the third largest settlement in Cumbria after Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness. Kendal today is known mainly as a centre for tourism, as the home of Kendal mint cake, and as a producer of pipe tobacco and tobacco snuff. Its buildings, mostly in the local grey limestone, have earned it the nickname "Auld Grey Town".

Division into wards

Rather than being divided into hundreds, Westmorland was subdivided into the two baronies of Westmorland (or sometimes Appleby) and Kendal.

A hundred is an administrative division that is geographically part of a larger region. It was formerly used in England, Wales, some parts of the United States, Denmark, Southern Schleswig, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Norway. It is still used in other places, including South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The Barony of Westmorland, originally often written as Westmarieland or Westmaringaland, was one of two baronies making up the English county of Westmorland, the other being the Barony of Kendal. Geographically, the barony covered the northern part of the county of the same name, and was divided into two wards — East ward and West ward. It covered an area similar to that of the Eden District of Cumbria, although it did not include Penrith, which is now the administrative capital of the district.

Barony of Kendal

The Barony of Kendal is a subdivision of the English historic county of Westmorland. It is one of two ancient baronies that make up the county, the other being the Barony of Westmorland. In 1974, the entire county became part of the modern county of Cumbria and ceased to have an administrative function. At the same time, Kendal borough along with some other rural and urban districts in Westmorland was merged with the neighbouring parts of Lancashire, Furness and Cartmel, and also the Sedbergh Rural District of the West Riding of Yorkshire into the new South Lakeland district of the new county.

The baronies were each further subdivided into two wards:

Modern history

In 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, a county council was created for Westmorland, taking functions from the Quarter Sessions. Westmorland had no county boroughs throughout its history, so the administrative county, the area under the control of the county council, was coterminous with the geographic county. The county council was based at Kendal, rather than the historic county town of Appleby.

Aside from the two municipal boroughs of Kendal and Appleby, the Local Government Act 1894 divided the county into urban districts and rural districts:

In 1905 a new Shap urban district was formed, while Windermere absorbed the neighbouring Bowness UD.

A County Review Order in 1935 reduced the number of districts in the county:

Despite their title, many of Westmorland's urban districts, such as Lakes, Grasmere, and Shap, were quite rural in character.

According to the 1971 census, Westmorland was the second least populated administrative county in England, after Rutland. The distribution of population was as follows: [12]

DistrictPopulation
Municipal Borough of Appleby 1,944
Municipal Borough of Kendal 21,602
Lakes Urban District 5,815
Windermere Urban District 8,065
North Westmorland Rural District 14,778
South Westmorland Rural District 20,633

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the county council was abolished and its former area was combined with Cumberland and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire to form the new county of Cumbria, administered by a new Cumbria County Council [13] . The area now forms parts of the districts of South Lakeland and Eden.

Coat of arms

Westmorland County Council was granted a coat of arms by the College of Arms in 1926. The design of the shield referred to the two components of the county: on two red bars (from the arms of the de Lancaster family, Barons of Kendal) was placed a gold apple tree (from the seal of the borough of Appleby, for the Barony of Westmorland). The crest above the shield was the head of a ram of the local Herdwick breed. On the ram's forehead was a shearman's hook, a tool used in the handling of wool. The hook was part of the insignia of the borough of Kendal, the administrative centre of the county council. [14]

Legacy

Map of Westmorland, 1824 Gray1824.westmoreland.jpg
Map of Westmorland, 1824

Westmorland is still used as a place name by organisations and businesses in the area such as:

The southern part of the county, the former Barony of Kendal or that part of Westmorland that is part of South Lakeland, is included in the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency.

In June 1994, during the 1990s UK local government reform, the Local Government Commission published draft recommendations suggesting that Westmorland's border with Yorkshire and Lancashire be restored for ceremonial purposes. The final recommendations, published in October 1994, did not include such recommendations, apparently due to lack of expression of support for the proposal to the commission.

In September 2011, the Westmorland Association, a local society which promotes the county's identity, successfully registered the Flag of Westmorland with the Flag Institute.

Notable people

See also

Related Research Articles

Cumbria Ceremonial (geographic) county of England

Cumbria is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local government, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's county town is Carlisle, in the north of the county, and the only other major urban area is Barrow-in-Furness on the southwestern tip of the county.

Ambleside town in Cumbria, England

Ambleside is a town in Cumbria, in North West England. Historically in Westmorland, it is situated at the head of Windermere, England's largest natural lake. The town is within the Lake District National Park.

South Lakeland District in England

South Lakeland is a local government district in Cumbria, England. The population of the non-metropolitan district at the 2011 Census was 103,658. Its council is based in Kendal. It includes much of the Lake District as well as northwestern parts of the Yorkshire Dales.

Eden District District in England

Eden is a local government district in Cumbria, England. Its council is based in Penrith. It is named after the River Eden which flows north through the district toward Carlisle.

Civil parishes in Cumbria Wikimedia list article

A civil parish in England is the lowest unit of local government. There are 284 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of Cumbria, with most of the county being parished, and Allerdale, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland being entirely parished. At the 2001 census, there were 359,692 people living in those 284 parishes, accounting for 73.8 per cent of the county's population.

Westmorland and Lonsdale (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1983 onwards

Westmorland and Lonsdale is a constituency in the south of Cumbria, represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2005 by Tim Farron, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats (2015–2017).

Lakes, Cumbria

Lakes is a large civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England, with a population of 5,127 according to the 2001 census, decreasing to 4,420 at the 2011 Census. It covers the small town of Ambleside, and the villages and hamlets of Clappersgate, Rydal, Grasmere, Troutbeck, Chapel Stile, Elterwater, Little Langdale and Waterhead.

Westmorland in North West England no longer exists as a county, the original core of it having merged into the modern district of Eden within the county of Cumbria.

Hugill civil parish in England

Hugill is a civil parish in the South Lakeland district of the English county of Cumbria. Hugill includes the village of Ings and the hamlets of Grassgarth, and Reston plus a large part of the village of Staveley and the west bank of the River Kent north of Barley Bridge. It was formerly a part of the Barony of Kendal. The parish has a population of 446, according to the 2011 Census. Approximately 60% of the population live in Staveley or the Kent valley.

Flag of Westmorland

The Westmorland flag is the flag of the historic county of Westmorland. It was registered with the Flag Institute as the flag of the county in 2011.

The Cumbria Rugby Union is the governing body for the sport of rugby union in the county of Cumbria in England. The union is the constituent body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for Cumbria, and administers and organises rugby union clubs and competitions in the county. It also administers the Cumbria rugby representative teams.

The Westmorland and Furness Cup was a rugby union knock-out club competition first organized by the Westmorland and Furness Rugby Football Unions, before the two counties merged with Cumberland to form Cumbria in the 1970s. The original incarnation of the cup was believed to have been formed in the 1890s around the same time as the better known Cumberland Challenge Cup but records of its history are scarce. The modern version of the Westmorland and Furness Cup was first introduced during the 1964-65 season and was won by Windermere.

References

  1. 1 2 1831 Census cited in Vision of Britain - Ancient county data
  2. 1 2 3 4 Vision of Britain - Westmorland population (density and area)
  3. 1 2 "Eric Pickles: celebrate St George and England's traditional counties". Department for Communities and Local Government. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  4. 1 2 Kelner, Simon (23 April 2013). "Eric Pickles's championing of traditional English counties is something we can all get behind". London: The Independent. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  5. 1 2 Garber, Michael (23 April 2013). "Government 'formally acknowledges' the Historic Counties to Celebrate St George's Day". Association of British Counties. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  6. R. Wilkinson The British Isles, Sheet The British Isles. Vision of Britain
  7. 1 2 F.A. Youngs, Guide to the Local Administrative units of England, Vol.II, Northern England, London, 1991
  8. Vision of Britain - History of East ward
  9. Vision of Britain - History of West ward
  10. Vision of Britain Archived 2011-08-14 at the Wayback Machine - History of Kendal ward
  11. Vision of Britain Archived 2007-10-01 at the Wayback Machine - History of Lonsdale ward
  12. 1971 Census; Small Area Statistics
  13. "Local Government Act 1972". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-17.
  14. W.C. Scott-Giles, Civic Heraldry of England and Wales, 2nd edition, London, 1953
  15. "The history of the festival" . Retrieved 22 January 2014.

Coordinates: 54°30′N2°35′W / 54.500°N 2.583°W / 54.500; -2.583