Westmorland Rises from the Ashes

On April 1st 1974, at the stroke of a pen, the ancient county of Westmorland disappeared, along with the adjoining county of Cumberland. They were replaced by Cumbria.

New Westmoland and Cumberalnd boundaries.

The old county town of Appleby, in a defiant move, renamed itself Appleby-in-Westmorland.

Now, almost 50 years later, Westmorland is back.

As of 1 April 2023, Cumbria County Council was abolished. As were the councils of Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle City, Copeland, Eden District, and South Lakeland District.

Cumberland Council has since taken over the area previously covered by the Allerdale, Carlisle City, and Copeland authorities.

Meanwhile, Westmorland and Furness Council is in charge of the area formerly covered by Barrow-in-Furness, Eden District, and South Lakeland District authorities.

The boundaries are not exactly the same – around a quarter of historic Cumberland around the town of Penrith is in the new Westmorland and Furness council.

Cumbria will remain as a “ceremonial” county and the name will remain in the names of various organisations such as the police force.

Lord Eric Pickles, who championed traditional counties during his time as communities secretary, said: “This is great news. People live in Cumberland and Westmorland – they don’t live in Cumbria. Cumbria was a creation of the madness of the 1970s when politicians and bureaucrats decided people live in different places.”

The Dales Way passes through Westmorland in it’s final stages, taking in Sedbergh and Windermere.


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