historic county of England

Westmorland (an older spelling is Westmoreland, an even older spelling is Westmerland) is an area of north west England and one of the 39 historic counties of England. It was an administrative county from 1889 to 1974 and now is part of Cumbria.

Flag of Westmorland

Early history change

Westmorland as shown on a 1931 administrative map of England

At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the county was said to form part of Yorkshire. The historic county borders are with Cumberland to the north, County Durham and Yorkshire to the east, and Lancashire to the south and west.

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

Appleby, the historic county town, was also a historic borough until it was reformed in 1885.

Gray's Book of Roads; Westmoreland; 1824

According to the 1971 census, Westmorland was the second smallest administrative county with people in England, after Rutland. The spead of population was as follows: [2]

District Number of People
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 was abolished and its former area was combined with Cumberland and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire to form the new county of Cumbria. The former county now forms part of the districts of South Lakeland and Eden.

References change

  1. 1831 Census cited in Vision of Britain – Ancient county data
  2. 1971 Census; Small Area Statistics