Monday, 17 August 2009


Cumbria (pronounced /ˈkʌmbriə/) is a shire county in the North West of England. Cumbria came into existence as a county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. The county consists of six districts, and has a total population of 498,800 (2007).
Cumbria numbered
1. Barrow-in-Furness
2. South Lakeland
3. Copeland
4. Allerdale
5. Eden
6. Carlisle

Cumbria, the third largest ceremonial county in England, is bounded to the west by the Irish Sea,

Map showing the Irish Sea

to the south by Lancashire, in Red

The southeast by North Yorkshire, in Red

and to the east by County Durham in Red

and Northumberland.

Scotland lies directly to the north.

A predominantly rural county, Cumbria is home to the Lake District National Park, considered one of the most beautiful areas of the United Kingdom.

Claife Station Windermere

The area has provided inspiration for generations of British and foreign artists, writers and musicians. Much of the county is mountainous, with the highest point of the county (and of England) being Scafell Pike at 978 m (3210 ft).

Scafell Pike

All the mountains in England that are over 900 metres (3,000 ft) above sea level are in Cumbria.
Parts of Hadrian's Wall can be found in the northernmost reaches of the county, in and around Carlisle.

Boundaries and divisions

Carlisle from the Castle

Cumbria is neighboured by Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the council areas of Dumfries & Galloway and Scottish Borders in Scotland.

Satellite picture of the Pennines

The boundaries are along the Irish Sea to Morecambe Bay in the west, and along the Pennines to the east. Cumbria's northern boundary stretches from the Solway Firth from the Solway Plain eastward along the border with Scotland to Northumberland.

Part of the Pennines Scenery

Solway Forth map

It is made up of six districts:






and South Lakeland.

For many administrative purposes Cumbria is divided into 3 areas - East, West and South. East being the districts of Carlisle and Eden, West - Allerdale and Copeland and South Lakeland and Barrow making up South Cumbria.
In January 2007, Cumbria County Council voted in favour of an official bid to scrap the current two-tier system of county and district councils in favour of a new unitary Cumbria Council, to be submitted for consideration to the Department for Communities and Local Government.[1] This was then rejected.
The county returns six Members of Parliament to the House of Commons, representing the constituencies of Carlisle, Penrith & The Border, Workington, Copeland, Westmorland and Lonsdale and Barrow & Furness.

Derivation of Name
The Welsh call their country Cymru in the Welsh language, which most likely meant "compatriots" in Old Welsh. The name competed for a long time in Welsh literature with the older name Brythoniaid (Brythons). Only after 1100 did the former become as common as the latter; both terms applied originally not only to the inhabitants of what is now called Wales, but in general to speakers of the Brythonic language and its descendants, many of whom lived in "the Old North": the placenames Cymru (Welsh for Wales), its Latinised version Cambria, and Cumbria and Cumberland in the North of England, derive their names from the same origin.
The county of Cumbria was created in 1974 from the areas of the former administrative counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, the Cumberland County Borough of Carlisle, along with the North Lonsdale or Furness part of Lancashire (including the county borough of Barrow-in-Furness) and, from the West Riding of Yorkshire, the Sedbergh Rural District. The name "Cumbria" has been used for the territory for centuries.
As a non-metropolitan county, some people, particularly those born or brought up in the area, continue to refer to some parts of Cumbria in terms of the ancient county boundaries; thus the Furness area is referred to as a part of Lancashire, and Kendal and the surrounding area as Westmorland.

Local papers
The Westmorland Gazette and Cumberland and Westmorland Herald continue to be named on this historic county basis. However other publications, such as local government promotional material, describe the area as being in "Cumbria", as do the Lake District National Park Authority and most visitors. A MORI poll in the county found 79% of those polled identified "very strongly" or "strongly" with Cumbria throughout the county, dropping to 55% and 71% in Barrow and South Lakeland districts, which incorporate part of historic Lancashire.

County emblems
The arms of Cumbria County Council were granted by the College of Arms on 10 October 1974. The arms represent the areas from which the new county council's area was put together; the shield's green border has Parnassus flowers representing Cumberland interspersed with roses; red for Lancashire (the Furness district) on white for Yorkshire (Sedbergh is from the West Riding). The crest is a ram's head crest, found in the arms both of Westmorland County Council and Barrow County Borough, with Cumberland's Parnassus flowers again. The supporters are the legendary Dacre Bull (Cumberland) and a red dragon (Appleby in Westmorland), with a hint of the Welsh Kingdom of Rheged. They stand on a base compartment representing Hadrian's Wall (in Cumberland), crossed with two red bars (from the Westmorland arms).
The county council motto: "Ad Montes Oculos Levavi" is Latin, from Psalm 121; ("I shall lift up mine eyes unto the hills").
There are two unofficial flags for Cumberland and Westmorland. These are the white cross on a blue background for Cumberland and the red cross on a yellow background for Westmorland. There are also two unofficial Cumbrian flags:
1. Consists of a green upper half with three white roses and a lower half consisting of three white and three blue horizontal stripes.
2. Consists of blue upper third, green lower third, and white middle third with the county heraldic crest in the centre

The ceremonial counties are areas of England that are appointed a Lord Lieutenant, and are defined by the government as the Counties for the purposes of the Lieutenancies Act 1997 with reference to the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England and Lieutenancies Act 1997. They are often used in a geographic reference frame, and in this capacity are sometimes called geographic counties

Ceremonial counties before the creation of Greater London in 1965 (showing counties corporate as part of the main counties.)The term Ceremonial County dates from the Lieutenancies Act 1997, but the concept of the counties used for the Lieutenancy differing from those used for administrative purposes dates back much further: some counties corporate were appointed separate Lieutenants from the larger county (often the posts would be held jointly), and the three Ridings of Yorkshire had been treated as three counties for Lieutenancy since the 17th century.
The Local Government Act 1888 set up county councils to take over the administrative functions of Quarter Sessions in the counties. It created new entities called "administrative counties" that constituted all the county apart from the county boroughs: also some traditional subdivisions of counties were constituted administrative counties, for instance the Soke of Peterborough in Northamptonshire and the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire. The Act further established that areas that were part of an administrative county would be part of the county for all purposes. The largest difference was the existence of the County of London, created both an administrative county and a "county" by the Act, which covered parts of the historic counties of Middlesex, Kent and Surrey. Other differences were small and resulted from the constraint that urban sanitary districts (and later urban districts and municipal boroughs) were not permitted to straddle county boundaries.
Apart from in Yorkshire, areas that were subdivided were retained as a single ceremonial county. For example, the administrative counties of East Suffolk and West Suffolk, along with the county borough of Ipswich, were considered to make up a single ceremonial county of Suffolk, and the administrative county of the Isle of Wight was part of the ceremonial county of Hampshire.
The term Ceremonial County for these entities is an anachronism - at the time they were shown on Ordnance Survey maps by the name 'counties' or 'geographic counties', and were referred to in the Local Government Act 1888 as simply 'counties'.
Apart from minor boundary revisions (for example, Caversham, a town in Oxfordshire, becoming part of Reading county borough and thus of Berkshire, in 1911), these areas changed little until the 1965 creation of Greater London and Huntingdon and Peterborough, which resulted in the abolition of the offices of Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, Lord Lieutenant of the County of London and Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire and the creation of the Lord Lieutenant of Greater London and Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdon and Peterborough.
Ceremonial counties from 1974 to 1996 (City of London not shown)In 1974, administrative counties and county boroughs were abolished, and a major reform took place. At this time, Lieutenancy was redefined to use the new metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties directly.
Following a further rearrangement in 1996, Avon, Cleveland, Hereford and Worcester, and Humberside were abolished. This led to a resurrection of a distinction between the local government counties and the ceremonial or geographic counties used for Lieutenancy, and also to the adoption of the term 'ceremonial counties', which although not used in statute was used in the House of Commons prior to the arrangements coming into effect.
Avon was mostly split between Gloucestershire and Somerset, with Bristol regaining its status of a county of itself. Cleveland was partitioned between North Yorkshire and County Durham. Hereford and Worcester was split into Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Humberside was split between a new ceremonial county of East Riding of Yorkshire, with the remaining parts going to Lincolnshire. Also at this time, Rutland was restored as a ceremonial county. Many county boroughs were re-established as 'unitary authorities' which involves establishing the area as an administrative county, but usually not as an ceremonial county.
Most ceremonial counties are therefore defined today as groups of local authority areas; the same situation as prevailed between 1889 and 1974. The Association of British Counties, a traditional counties lobbying group, have suggested that the ceremonial counties could be restored to their ancient boundaries, or as near as is practicable

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