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:

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.

Seathwaite was once the world’s leading supplier of ‘black lead’, plumbago or ‘wad’ Before the c.16th it was just used for marking sheep.

An early 15th century manuscript poem, probably written at Carlisle, claims that King Arthur’s court was at Merry Carlisle, not Camelot

Mary Noble of Bampton was the first woman in the country to be elected to a county council (Westmorland).

In 1713 Jane Alderson found 118 oz of silver in a wall belonging to the lord of the manor of Brough

Kings Meaburn was forfeited to the Crown by Sir Hugh de Morville for his role in Thomas à Becket’s murder in 1170

Flookburgh was chosen as a safe place to build airships during the First World War, and Ravenstown was built to house the workers

The antiquary William Camden could not visit Housesteads while in the area in 1599 for fear of the Moss Troopers living there

Tarn Wadling, now drained, was famous for many things, including a floating island that mysteriously appeared one night in 1810

The Guide to the Lakes (1778) thought the best way of looking at scenery was by viewing it through a mirror called a Claude Glass

Reginald Bainbrigg, a 16th century schoolmaster, collected Roman inscriptions which he displayed at his home in Appleby

On 22nd February 1822 a great flood destroyed five bridges in the Eden Valley.  The water was three feet deep in Appleby church

Blackmail originated in Cumbria and the borders as the name for the protection racket that the Border Reivers ran for centuries.

From 1881 the Corkickle Brake waggonway ran to one of the Earl of Lonsdale's collieries.  Later it was used for hauling sulphuric acid

There was a pearl fishery at Drigg in the 17th century, in the mussel beds of the Irt estuary.

The name Cumbria comes from the same root as Cymry, the Welsh word meaning ‘fellow countrymen'