Saxton 1577 Preston area map

Victoria County History

The Victoria County History (VCH) is an internationally respected work of reference which ultimately aims to write the history of every town and village in England.

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The Victoria County History in Cumbria

No Victoria County History town or village histories had been published for the historic counties of Cumberland and Westmorland before the VCH Cumbria project was launched in 2010; the only parts of Cumbria previously to have been researched in detail by the VCH were the Furness and Cartmel areas, which were formerly in Lancashire and are covered in VCH Lancashire, Volume VIII (published in 1910). So, with the support of the Cumbria County History Trust and help of volunteer local historians, the VCH Cumbria project has embarked on an ambitious programme of work to research and write the history of every place in Cumbria.

Progress to date

  • Team of over 100 volunteers from across Cumbria has compiled brief histories for each of the 344 parishes/townships in the county, forming a springboard for future work. You can access these through the Cumbria County History Trust (CCHT) website.
  • A smaller core of volunteers are researching and writing full parish/township histories to the VCH template, which will eventually form part of the national work of local historical reference
  • A number of full parish/township histories have already been completed in draft form and can be accessed and downloaded now from the CCHT website, and our publication 'Cumbria: An Historical Gazetteer'
  • Our first parish history, Kirkoswald and Renwick, has recently been published.

Volunteering for Victoria County History

Anyone with experience of research in local and regional history, or in family history, can contribute to the project.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the assistant editor, Dr Sarah Rose: 01524 593141

Why Volunteer?

  • To contribute to a programme of focused, serious study with an end-result which will last for decades as work of reference.
  • To gain the satisfaction of working as part of a common endeavour.
  • To enhance your research skills and experience.

What our volunteers say

"I think the biggest impact on many of us is being able to make a real contribution to a national historical publication and, as a result, becoming ... more “professional” in our approach to local history’

‘this is a tremendous opportunity to enhance our skills and achievements ... It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this to us."

Contact Us

By Post

Regional Heritage Centre
Department of History
Bowland College
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

By Phone

+44 (0)1524 593770

Usually staffed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9:30-15:30

RHC Director:
Professor Fiona Edmonds

Academic Co-ordinator:
Dr Sam Riches

Ann-Marie Michel

For the Victoria County History of Cumbria, please contact Dr Sarah Rose