Cumberland  England

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

Cumberland.-- a maritime and border co. of England, having the cos. of Dumfries and Roxburgh on the N., Northumberland and Durham on the E., Westmorland and Lancashire on the S., the Irish Sea on the W., and the Solway Firth on the NW.; length, NE. and SW., 75 miles; extreme breadth, E. and W., 45 miles; average breadth, 22 miles; coast line, about 75 miles; area, 970,161 ac., pop. ...

250,647. The coast on the Solway is low and sandy, but on the Irish Sea it is lofty and rugged; chief promontory, St Bees Head. In the NW. the country is open and flat; it is watered by the Eden and other streams, and consists chiefly of verdant meadows and good arable land. From this plain the surface rises towards the E. and S. into a region with deep denies or dales, which form the mountainous district of "The Lakes, " the scenery of which is generally picturesque, and attracts great numbers of tourists. The principal summits are Scafell Pikes (3210 ft.), Scafell (3162 ft.), Helvellyn (3118 ft.), Skiddaw (3058 ft.), Bow Fell(2960 ft.), and Cross Fell (2892 ft.). The largest lakes are Ullswater, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Water, Thirlmere, Buttermere, Wast Water, and Ennerdale Water. The Eden and the Derwent are the two longest rivers. The Esk passes through the co. before entering the Solway Firth, and its affluent, the Liddell, runs for some distance along the Scottish border. Coal and iron are extensively worked in the W., the coalfield stretching from the neighbourhood of Whitehaven to that of Maryport. Numerous blast furnaces are constantly at work. Plumbago or black lead is obtained in considerable quantities near Keswick. Slate, limestone, and sandstone are abundant. Copper, cobalt, antimony, manganese, and gypsum are also found. Owing to the general elevation of the land, and the moisture of the climate, the cultivation of the soil is less attended to than the rearing of sheep and cattle. The dairy produce is very considerable. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) Woollen mfrs. are carried on to some extent at Carlisle and some other places. The co. comprises 5 wards, 208 pars., the parl. and mun. bor. of Carlisle (1 member), and the parl. bor. of Whitehaven (1 member). It is mostly in the diocese of Carlisle. For parl. purposes it is divided into 4 divisions, viz., Northern or Eskdale, Mid or Penrith, Cockermouth, and Western or Egremont, 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 Cumberland. 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 Cumberland | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.


Date accessed: 21st March 2018

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