CCHT and the Victoria County History Project
What is the Victoria County History?
The Victoria County History (VCH) is an internationally respected work of reference which ultimately aims to write the history of every town and village in England. For more information, please go to www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk
What is the CCHT?
The Cumbria County History Trust is a charity which any interested individual, history and heritage society, museum, or commercial organisation can join. The members elect a number of trustees, to join those nominated by the founding organisations, and elect the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the organisation at the Annual General Meeting. Therefore joining the charity allows you to have a say in how the project is managed.
Ordinary membership is £25 per annum, and entitles members to all the normal rights of membership in the Constitution of the CCHT. Members are asked to subscribe by a covenant for five years, enhanced by tax giving if appropriate.
Gold Membership involves a subscription of £100 per annum for five years. Founder Members subscribed £100 per annum and are listed in our Roll of Honour (list closed on 15 March 2011), and will be named in the first volume which we publish.
To join CCHT, please download and print the application form, and post to the address on the form, with your subscription (details on form)
VCH Cumbria Project Direction
All the work is being done by volunteers, under the overall direction of Dr Fiona Edmonds and Dr James Bowen (maternity cover for Dr Sarah Rose) from the Regional Heritage Centre, which is located within the History Department at Lancaster University.
Dr Fiona Edmonds
Dr James Bowen
For more information about their research interests and respective roles with VCH Cumbria, see https://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/counties/cumberland/about Full guidance is available to volunteers to ensure that together we maintain the high standards of scholarship expected from the Victoria County History, and that our work provides a factual, reliable and authoritative work of reference for everyone with an interest in the history of their town or village - and possibly their family too.
Progress to date
No VCH town or village histories had been published for the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland before the VCH Cumbria project was launched in 2010; the only parts of Cumbria previously to have been researched in detail by the VCH were the Furness and Cartmel areas, which were formerly in Lancashire and are covered in VCH Lancashire, Volume VIII (published in 1910). So, for the bulk of the county the VCH Cumbria project is starting from scratch: READ MORE
- a team of over 100 volunteers from across Cumbria has compiled brief histories for each of the 348 parishes/townships in the county, forming a springboard for future work. These have been edited for consistency by Prof. Angus Winchester. You can access these through the Interactive Map, the Township list, or the Search engine. They are also available in print form from Lancaster University Regional Heritage Centre
- a smaller core of volunteers are researching and writing full parish/township histories to the VCH template, which will eventually form part of the national work of local historical reference
- the following parish/township histories have already been completed in draft form and can be accessed and downloaded now. They are: MOSSER, RENWICK, SKELSMERGH, HELSINGTON, GAMBLESBY, ANGERTON, NATLAND, KIRKOSWALD, STAFFIELD
Kirkby Lonsdale Ancient Parish
We aim to publish a volume covering the nine townships of Kirkby Lonsdale parish in a single volume. Here you can read the initial interim drafts for each township. These need further research, but have been posted here for interest. Please do not quote from them without seeking permission first.
Become a VCH Volunteer
The VCH Cumbria project is a long-term collaborative project, whereby volunteers from the Cumbrian community will collect the basic historical material, write the histories and create the topographical database. At the same time the project will provide a vehicle for the future education, training and participation of all those who wish to make a contribution, ensuring that everyone can play a part, while ensuring the published histories will be of the highest standards. Within the project there will be roles for people of all stages of qualification and experience, including absolute newcomers.
Volunteers should ideally also be members of CCHT, and should indicate their interest in volunteering on the form when joining.
For further information about membership or volunteering, or to express interest, please contact James Bowen, the Volunteer Co-ordinator. Tel: 01524 593141 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We strongly encourage that our volunteers also become members of CCHT.
What our volunteers say:
‘I think the biggest impact on many of us is being able to make a real contribution to a national historical publication and, as a result, becoming ... more “professional” in our approach to local history’
‘this is a tremendous opportunity to enhance our skills and achievements ... It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this to us’
CCHT Trustees and Supporters
Please view the full List of Trustees and their contact details (opens as pdf.)
The Trust is supported by Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Local History Federation, Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, Diocese of Carlisle, Friends of Cumbria Archives, Lake District National Park Authority, National Trust North West Region, University of Cumbria and University of Lancaster.
Patrons:- Sir Christian Bonington CBE; Sir James Cropper KCVO; Lord Inglewood; Dr David Starkey, CBE.
A list of our Founding Sponsors, Gold Members and Founder Members can be found on our Roll of Honour.