100 Interesting Facts

OK, so there aren't 100 Interesting Facts here yet, but bear with us, we're getting there!  These Facts have been submitted by our volunteers and friends.  Click on a 'fact' for more Backgound information.  If YOU have a Fact you'd like to share, please Contact Us , giving us references so we can check - as before posting anything, our team of historians have to be sure it REALLY IS a fact, not a myth!

Reveal Facts by:


The first recorded African community in Britain was based at Burgh by Sands some 1800 years ago

Cumbrian eccentric William Henry Mounsey carved an inscription into the walls of Wetheral Cave - in Welsh!

Two Kings died in or near Carlisle. David I of Scotland (d. 1153) and Edward I of England (d. 1307 at Burgh by Sands).

The name Torpenhow seems to be made up of three elements, all more-or-less meaning 'hill' in different languages - Hill-hill-hill!

Grisleymires Lane, Milnthorpe, sounds like the location for a horror film - but probably means something like 'muddy hollow of the pigs'

Franz von Werra was the only German prisoner of WWII to escape and get back to Germany.  His first escape was from Grizedale Hall

Thomas West, the great historian of Furness, was a Jesuit priest who found himself with time on his hands for his antiquarian interests

The first person (since the Romans) to walk Hadrian's Wall from end to end was William Hutton, in 1801 - aged 77

When copper was discovered near Keswick in the 1560s, no-one in England could extract the metal - so Bavarian miners were brought in

The body of a Crusader buried in 1368 was found to be well preserved when the coffin was opened in 1981

Derwent Island was known as Pocklington's Island in the 1780s. Its owner used to organise mock sieges, with cannons firing from the isle 

A drinking glass known as the Luck of Edenhall is one of is one of the most exceptional objects in the V&A's glass collection.

The two nunneries in Cumbria together had less income in a year than Furness Abbey alone had in a fortnight

In 1569, Cumbrians tried to overthrow Queen Elizabeth in what became known as Dacre's Raid

Atterpile Castle, now known as Castle Head, near Grange, may have been an Iron Age promontory fort

On 24 November 1542, an English army defeated the Scots on Solway Moss. But the exact location of the battle has been disputed.

Until the mid-nineteenth century, most Cumbrian homes would have been lit by rush lights, not candles 

William Wordsworth wrote about 'Wonderful Walker', a clergyman from the Duddon valley famous for his frugality

A Jacobite Army passed through Cumbria in 1715 - and the local militia ran away rather than fight them!

Wigton's market cross burnt down during celebrations of Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21st October 1805.