The history of Cumbria - Invest in Cumbria

Accessibility links

Inspire... Innovate... Imagine...
Tel:+44 (0)1768 895350 |

The History of Cumbria

Cumbria came into existence as a county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972, although its use as a territorial name dates back centuries.

At the end of the Roman Britain period (c.410AD) the inhabitants of Cumbria were Old Welsh speaking native "Romano-Britons" probably descended from the Brigantes tribe. The names "Cumbria" and "Cumberland" are derived from the name these people gave to themselves, and still do in Wales; Cymru (pronounced cum-ri) which means 'compatriots' in Old Welsh.

During the dark ages Cumbria formed the core of the Brythonic kingdom of Rheged, and by the end of the 7th Century most of Cumbria was incorporated into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. Large parts of Cumbria were ruled by Scotland at the time of Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and were excluded from the Domesday Book. In 1092 Cumbria was invaded by William Rufus and reincorporated within England; divided into the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire (the exclave of Furness). In 1974 these counties, and Sedbergh Rural District, were reunited as Cumbria although local newspapers continue to preserve the historic names.

Please use the links above to find more information on the some of the Cumbrian historic sites