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

in the southern part of Derwentwater, there was once a floating island, which appeared for a few days at a time when the lake was high.

In the 18th century tourists used to fire pistols, or even cannon, across Ullswater – just to hear the echo

On 18 December 1745 what has been described as the last battle on English soil took place at Clifton Moor, Westmorland. 

In November 1771, Solway Moss burst, and flowed over the surrounding area, destroying houses and livestock. The land has never recovered.

James Robert Phillips, son of the vicar of Ivegill, had a key role in the events that led to the Benin Expedition of 1897

Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the US on a family Bible translated and annotated by a Penrith Parish Priest, George Leo Haydock.

Carlisle Castle would look very different today if a plan to build a massive defensive bastion facing the town had gone ahead in 1746.

"The Monocled Mutineer" was shot dead by police at Plumpton near Penrith in 1920

Frances Richards, later of Glassonby Lodge, painted the portrait which may have inspired “The Picture of Dorian Gray

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