Next Steps 213-2014
The Jubilee Digests provide a ‘front page’ on the CCHT website for each of the places for which a VCH township/parish article will eventually be written. We would now aim to build on this by developing the online 'Resource bank’. A guidance note has been prepared to explain the ways in which volunteers can be involved in these 'Next Steps'. To view or download the guidance note, click here.
In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the Queen re-dedicated the VCH. To mark this occasion, we produced a set of historical data for every community in Cumbria called ‘Jubilee Digests’. To find out more, please see the Jublilee Digests Page
CCHT undertakes to provided training tailored to volunteers’ needs. For more information about the training on offer to VCH volunteers, please see our Training page.
Here you can access the VCH Cumbria Volunteers' Handbook, which has been produced for those working on parish/township histories. The handbook can be downloaded in its entirety, or section by section. In addition to the handbook, volunteers can also access guidance notes related to particular research themes.
There are a number of drafters currently working on parish/township articles: Articles being drafted
Mosser: Professor Angus Winchester has completed a draft article on the township of Mosser, as an illustration of the standard format for VCH Cumbria township histories. The Mosser article is available as a Full Draft (opens as pdf.) Alternatively, you can view the article section by section here.
Renwick: Richard Brockington has completed a draft article for the township of Renwick. It is available to view or download here.
Skelsmergh: Tony Cousins has completed a draft article for the township of Skelsmergh. It is available to view or download here.
Townships and Parishes
The VCH Cumbria project is using the Civil Parishes as they existed around 1900 as the basis for dividing the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland into units for the preparation of articles. This is a break with VCH conventions, as separate articles are written for each ancient ecclesiastical parish in other counties.
In Cumbria the ancient ecclesiastical parishes often covered vast areas, embracing numerous ‘townships’ or ‘constablewicks’, the civil administrative divisions (please view the map showing the relationship between parishes and townships in part of Cumbria). Civil Parishes are often reincarnations of former townships, rather than ancient parishes. We are using them because it was often the township, rather than the parish, which functioned as the basic local administrative entity and many townships formed separate manors or estates. Some of the largest ancient parishes were notional, even for ecclesiastical purposes, as they were divided into chapelries, each of which functioned as a separate parish.
So, the Civil Parishes, set up under the Poor Law Amendment Act 1866, will provide the basic structure. We are using the Civil Parishes as they existed at the end of the 19th century, as later amalgamations and boundary changes, particularly those resulting from the Cumberland Review order of 1934, have disrupted the historic administrative pattern.
There are 344 places in cumbria for which separate VCH townhsip/parish articles will be written. Follow the links to view a list of these places.
Cumberland (200 places)
West Riding (Sedbergh, Garsdale & Dent)