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:

Gunpowder from Low Wood and Sedgwick, in South Cumbria, was shipped out to West Africa, to be traded for slaves.

Freshwater Biological Association scientists spent the war years in Wray Castle, helping to feed the country.

Cumbria played its part in providing a safe haven for children from the Basque region of Spain from 1937 -1939.   

The first Turnpike Road in Cumbria was built under the Whitehaven Harbour Act of 1739.  It joined St Bees to Whitehaven

Without Wray Castle we might not have had the National Trust – or Peter Rabbit           

A number of old churches in Cumbria have slots in an outside wall, which were used by walled-up anchorites, to witness the mass.

With Carlisle’s pubs in mind, David Lloyd George declared in 1915 ‘We are fighting Germany, Austria and drink, and so far as I can see the greatest of these deadly foes is drink’.


Conishead, once a priory of Augustinian Monks, founded in the 1180s, has since 1976 been home to a community of Buddhist monks

It is claimed (but it can’t be proved) that the last wolf in England was killed at Humphrey Head in the fourteenth century

In medieval times, leprosy was endemic in Cumbria – but everything changed with the Black Death


In 1559 Nicholas Bardsey of Bardsea murdered William Sandys of Conishead and fled to Scotland. Seven years later he returned home – and no-one seem to have mentioned the murder again.

Prior to the Dissolution, the sons of the tenants of Furness Abbey not only had free schooling at the abbey, they had free school meals too!

Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, with three other knights, murdered Thomas à Beckett on 29 December 1170.  They afterwards fled to Scotland, and then to Jerusalem.

A thousand years ago, Cumbria was in Scotland.  It did not become part of England until 1157 – but the border was not finally fixed until 1552.

When Humphrey Senhouse of Netherhall decided in 1749 to develop a new town and port at Ellenfoot, he named it after his wife Mary.

A body found in 1845 at Scaleby, north of Carlisle turned out to be possibly a woman who had been deliberately killed and buried in the bog, more than 2000 years before.

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.