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.
VCH Cumbria Project Direction
All the work is being done by volunteers, under the overall direction of Professor Angus Winchester and Dr Sarah Rose from the Regional Heritage Centre, which is located within the History Department at Lancaster University.
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.
Prof. Angus Winchester & Dr Sarah Rose
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 344 parishes/townships in the county, forming a springboard for future work. You can access these through the Cumbria County History Trust (CCHT) website.
- 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full parish/township histories to the VCH template, which will eventually form part of the national work of local historical reference
- eight full parish/township histories have already been completed in draft form and can be accessed and downloaded now from the CCHT website. They are: MOSSER, RENWICK, SKELSMERGH, HELSINGTON, CASTERTON, KIRKBY LONSDALE, BARBON and GAMBLESBY
Interim drafts for KIRKANDREWS ON ESK, and STANWIX (Religious History) are also available.
Become a VCH Volunteer
Details of how to get involved in the VCH project as a volunteer can be found on our Become a Volunteer page. We strongly encourage that our volunteers also become members of CCHT. To find out how, click here.
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’
Victoria County History project - National website
About the Jublilee Digests
History of CWAAS and the VCH - an article by John Beckett.
Full Draft parish/township histories
Keep up to date with our weekly digest of updates to the information on the Cumbria County History Trust website.