Westmorland  England

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In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Westmorland like this:

Westmorland, co. in N. of England; bounded NW. and N. by Cumberland, NE. by Durham, E. by Yorkshire, and S. and SW. by Lancashire and Morecambe Bay; greatest length, N. and S., 32 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 40 miles; area, 500,906 ac., pop. 64,191. Westmorland presents a continuous succession of mountain, moor, and fell, intersected by deep winding vales, traversed by numerous streams. ...

The principal of these are the Eden, Lowther, Lune, and Kent, the last forming the broad estuary which terminates in Morecambe Bay. The mountains consist of various ridges belonging to the Pennine and Cumbrian chains. Helvellyn, on the Cumberland border, rises to a height of 3118 ft. The western part of the co. is within the Lake District, and contains Hawes Water, Grasmere, Rydal Water, and Ullswater on the Cumberland border, and Windermere on the Lancashire border. The climate is moist. The arable land is mostly confined to the valleys, where the soil usually consists of a dry gravelly loam, well adapted for turnips, but the greater part of the co. is natural pasture. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) A few tracts of woodland remain of the forests which formerly clothed all the hills. The mineral productions include graphite, marble, roofing slate, and some coal, lead, and copper. The only mfrs. of any consequence are the coarse woollens of Kendal. The county has good communications by railway. It comprises 4 wards, 109 pars., the mun. bor. of Kendal, and the towns of Ambleside, Appleby (the co. town), Brough, Kirkby Lonsdale, Kirkby Stephen, and Orton. It is entirely in the diocese of Carlisle. For parl. purposes it is divided into 2 divisions - viz., Northern or Appleby, and Southern or Kendal, 1 member for each division.

Vision of Britain presents long-run change by redistricting historical statistics to modern units. However, none of our modern units covers an area close to that of Westmorland. If you want trends covering a particular location within the county, find it on our historical maps and then select "Tell me more".

How to reference this page:

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Westmorland | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 20th June 2024

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