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County Flag of Cumbria.svg

Cumbria (/ˈkʌmbriə/ KUM-bree-ə) 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.

The county of Cumbria consists of six districts (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden and South Lakeland), and in 2008 had a population of just under half a million. Cumbria is one of the most sparsely populated counties in the United Kingdom, with 73.4 people per km2 (190/sq mi).

Cumbria is the third largest county in England by area, and is bounded to the north by the Scottish council areas of Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders, to the west by the Irish Sea, to the south by Lancashire, to the southeast by North Yorkshire, and to the east by County Durham and Northumberland.

Selected article

Brougham Castle today, as seen from the north east
Brougham Castle is a historical building located about 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south-east of Penrith, Cumbria, England. Founded by Roger de Vieuxpont in the early 13th century on the site of a Roman fort, it sits near the confluence of the rivers Eamont and Lowther. In its earliest form, the castle consisted of a stone keep, with an enclosure protected by a timber bank and a wooden palisade. When the castle was built, Roger de Vieuxpont was one of only a few lords loyal to the king in the region. The Vieuxpont's were a powerful land-owning family in North West England and also owned the castles of Appleby and Brough. In 1264 Roger de Vieuxpont's grandson, also called Roger, was considered a traitor and his property was confiscated by Henry III. Brougham Castle, and the other estates, were eventually returned to the Vieuxpont family, and stayed in their possession until 1269 when it passed to the Clifford family through marriage.

With the outbreak of the Anglo-Scottish Wars in 1296, Brougham became an important base from which Robert Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford, could take part in the conflict. At this point, he began refortifying the castle: the wooden outer defences were replaced with stronger, more impressive stone walls, and the large stone gatehouse was added. The importance of Brougham and Roger Clifford was such that in 1300 he hosted Edward I at the castle. The second Roger Clifford was executed as a traitor in 1322 and the Clifford estates passed into the possession of Edward II, although they were returned to the family once Edward III became king. The region was often at risk from the Scots, and in 1388 the castle was captured and sacked.

Following this, the Cliffords began spending more time at their other castles, particularly that of Skipton Castle in Yorkshire. Brougham descended through several generations of Cliffords, intermittently being used as a residence. However, by 1592 it was in a state of disrepair as George Clifford spent more time in southern England due to his role as Queen's Champion. The castle briefly recovered in the early 17th century to such a condition that James I visited in 1617. In 1643, Lady Anne Clifford inherited the castle and set about restoring it. She also undertook the restoration of the castles at Appleby and Brough. The castle was kept in good condition for a short time after Lady Anne's death in 1676; however, the Earl of Thanet, who had inherited the Clifford estates, sold the furnishings of Brougham Castle in 1714. The empty shell was left to decay as it was too costly to maintain.

As a ruin, Brougham Castle inspired a painting by J. M. W. Turner and was mentioned at the start of William Wordsworth's poem The Prelude. The castle was left to the Ministry of Works in the 1930s and is today maintained by its successor, English Heritage. The castle ruins are open to the public. The stone keep is the castle's oldest surviving structure and dates from its foundation. (more...)

Selected mountain

Skiddaw is a mountain in the Lake District National Park in the United Kingdom. With a summit at 931 m (3,054 ft) above sea level it is the fourth highest mountain in England (the third highest if Scafell Pike and Sca Fell are regarded as one mountain), and the lowest above 3,000 feet (910 m). It lies just north of the town of Keswick, Cumbria, and dominates the skyline in this part of the northern lakes. It is the simplest of the Lake District mountains of this height to ascend (as there is a well-trodden tourist track from a car park to the north-east of Keswick, near the summit of Latrigg) and, as such, many walking guides recommend it to the occasional walker wishing to climb a mountain. This is the first summit of the fell running challenge known as the Bob Graham Round when undertaken in a clockwise direction.

The mountain lends its name to the surrounding areas of "Skiddaw Forest", and "Back o' Skidda'" and to the isolated "Skiddaw House", situated to the east, formerly a shooting lodge and subsequently a youth hostel. It also provides the name for the slate derived from that region: Skiddaw Slate. Tuned percussion musical instruments or lithophones exist which are made from the slate, such as the Musical Stones of Skiddaw held at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery. (more...)

Selected lake

Rydal Water seen from the summit of Nab Scar
Rydal Water is a small lake in the central region of the Lake District. It is located near the hamlet of Rydal, between Grasmere and Ambleside in the Rothay Valley. The lake is 1290yd (1.18km) long and varies in width up to a maximum of 380yd (350m), covering an area of 0.12mi² (0.31km²). It has a maximum depth of 65ft (17m) and an elevation above sea level of 177ft (54m). The lake is both drained and replenished by the river Brathay, flowing out of Grasmere upstream and into Windermere downstream. The waters of the southern half of the lake are leased by the Lowther Estate to the National Trust, whilst those of the northern half belong to the estate of Rydal Hall. Navigation is prohibited, except for residents of Rydal Hall. (more...)

Recognised content

Featured articles Featured article

Brougham CastleHMS Cardiff (D108)Norman Birkett, 1st Baron Birkett

Featured pictures Featured picture

File:Derwent Water, Keswick - June 2009.jpgFile:Helvellyn Striding Edge 360 Panorama, Lake District - June 09.jpgFile:Keswick, Cumbria Panorama 1 - June 2009.jpgFile:Keswick Panorama - Oct 2009.jpgFile:Catbells Northern Ascent, Lake District - June 2009.jpgFile:Glenridding, Cumbria, England - June 2009.jpg

Good articles Good article

Andrew Johnston (singer)Askam and IrelethBrough CastleGrayrigg derailmentHerdwickLady in the Lake trialNethermost PikeThe Story of a Fierce Bad RabbitThe Story of Miss MoppetThe Tale of Benjamin BunnyThe Tale of Jemima Puddle-DuckThe Tale of Mr. Jeremy FisherThe Tale of Mr. TodThe Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-WinkleThe Tale of Mrs. TittlemouseThe Tale of The Flopsy BunniesThe Tale of Timmy Tiptoes



Selected images


CumbriaList of Cumbria-related topicsLake District

Towns (list of places in Cumbria)

Barrow-in-FurnessCarlisleCleator MoorCockermouthDalton-in-FurnessEgremontKendalKeswickMaryportMillomPenrithUlverstonWhitehavenWindermereWigtonWindermereWorkington

Lakes (list of lakes in the Lake District)

Bassenthwaite LakeBrotherswaterButtermereConiston WaterCrummock WaterDerwent WaterDevoke WaterElter WaterEnnerdale WaterEsthwaite WaterGrasmereHaweswater ReservoirHayeswaterLoweswaterRydal WaterThirlmereUllswaterWast WaterWindermere

Mountains (list of fells in the Lake District, list of hills in the Lake District)

Scafell PikeScafellHelvellynSkiddawGreat EndBowfellGreat GablePillarNethermost PikeCatstycamEsk PikeRaise (Lake District)FairfieldBlencathraSkiddaw Little ManWhite SideCrinkle CragsDollywaggon PikeGreat DoddGrasmoorStybarrow DoddSt Sunday CragScoat FellCrag HillHigh Street

Farming, food and wildlife

Cumberland sausageHerdwickJennings BrewerySchellyVendaceYan Tan Tethera


Carlisle CathedralCarvetiiCastlerigg stone circleCastlesClifton Moor SkirmishCumberlandDialectHistoric housesRhegedShootings (2010)Westmorland

People (Demography of Cumbria)

Donald CampbellSamuel Taylor ColeridgeMargaret FellEmlyn HughesStan LaurelCatherine ParrArthur RansomeStella RimingtonGeorge RomneyJohn RuskinBeatrix PotterAlfred WainwrightWilliam Wordsworth


Cricket (Cumberland County Cricket Club, North Lancashire and Cumbria League) • Cumberland and Westmorland wrestlingFell running • Football • (Barrow A.F.C., Carlisle United F.C., Workington A.F.C.) • Rugby League (Barrow Raiders, Barrow & District League, Carlisle Centurions, Carlisle RLFC, Cumberland League, Whitehaven RLFC, Workington Town) • Uppies and Downies

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