Victoria County History Project

What is the 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.  For more information, please go to


VCH Cumbria Project Direction

All the work is being done by volunteers, under the overall direction of Dr Fiona Edmonds and Dr James Bowen (maternity cover for Dr Sarah Rose) from the Regional Heritage Centre, which is located within the History Department at Lancaster University. For more information about their research interests and respective roles with VCH Cumbria, see

Full guidance is available to volunteers to ensure that together we maintain the high standards of scholarship expected from the Victoria County History, and that our work provides a factual, reliable and authoritative work of reference for everyone with an interest in the history of their town or village - and possibly their family too. 


Progress to date

No VCH 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, for the bulk of the county the VCH Cumbria project is starting from scratch:  READ MORE

 - a team of over 100 volunteers from across Cumbria has compiled brief histories for each of the 345 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full parish/township histories to the VCH template, which will eventually form part of the national work of local historical reference

- the following parish/township histories have already been completed in draft form and can be accessed and downloaded now.  They are: MOSSER, RENWICK, SKELSMERGH, HELSINGTONGAMBLESBY, ANGERTON, NATLAND, KIRKOSWALD, STAFFIELD

Interim drafts for KIRKANDREWS ON ESK, and STANWIX (Religious History) are also available.


Kirkby Lonsdale Ancient Parish

We aim to publish a volume covering the nine townships of Kirkby Lonsdale parish in a single volume. Here you can read the initial interim drafts for each township. These need further research, but have been posted here for interest. Please do not quote from them without seeking permission first.



Become a VCH Volunteer

Details of how to get involved in the VCH project as a volunteer can be found on our Become a Volunteer page. We strongly encourage that our volunteers also become members of CCHT. To find out how, click here.

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’



Keep up to date with our weekly digest of updates to the information on the Cumbria County History Trust website.