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Westmorland - Main Page


Historic County of England.

Westmorland Burials
Westmorland Famous People
Historical Westmorland
Historic Buildings of Westmorland
Westmorland Monumental Inscriptions, Cemeteries and Graveyards
People Connected to Westmoreland

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// to People Connected to Westmoreland//


  • Historic County Town Appleby
  • County Flower -
  • People from Westmorland are called -

Westmorland (Sometimes spelt Westmoreland in documents) is a ceremonial county of historic origin in the North West of England - one of the 39 original historic counties of England. It formed an administrative county from 1889 to 1974, after which the whole county was administered by new administrative county of Cumbria.

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 Scotland, having historically been associated with the 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. 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.

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.

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

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.

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

The baronies were each further subdivided into two wards:


  • East ward -
  • Appleby,
  • Brough,
  • Kirkby Stephen,
  • Orton,
  • Tebay
  • West ward -
  • Askham,
  • Bampton,
  • Barton,
  • Patterdale,
  • Shap,
  • Yanwath


  • Kendal ward -
  • Ambleside,
  • Burton-in-Kendal,
  • Grasmere,
  • Grayrigg,
  • Kentmere,
  • Kendal,
  • Windermere
  • Lonsdale ward -
  • Kirkby
  • Lonsdale

Old Map of Westmorland


Westmorland was a country of isolated farms and villages joined by winding grey-walled roads. The main towns were Windermere and Bowness, Kirkby Stephen, Appleby and Kendal.

For Historical information about Westmorland visit Historical Westmorland - including connections to Historical figures, Gentry and political people connected with Westmorland.

The woollen industry for which Kendal was famous had its send-off in the time of Edward I who is said to have granted letters patent for the manufacture of wool to a Flemish weaver, one John Kemp. The cheaper weaves were left to their natural colour, but the better cloth was dyed green by immersion first in a solution of yellow saw-wort and then in blue woad. The cloth was used throughout the length and breadth of England; Shakespeare refers to Kendal green. Kendal cloth was a coarse cloth, because of the wiry fleece of the fell sheep, which came to be used for horse-cloths, rugs, linseys, dusters etc. A grand tweed was also manufactured, a tweed which for wear and pattern could rival any Scottish production, but for this industry declined and the last tweed mill was closed down about 1931.

If you have Westmorland connections please join the project.

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Parish Map


from The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers 1984.

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