Cumbria

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CUMBRIA. A county of north-western England since 1974, formed from the former counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, and LANCASHIRE North of the Sands. It includes the Lake District or Lakeland, home of the poet Wordsworth. CUMBRIC was spoken there until the 11c, OLD ENGLISH from the 7c, and NORSE in the 9–11c. Local place-names reflect all three languages: Celtic as in Culgaith back wood, Penrith head of the ford, Old English as in Broomfield broom-covered field, Rottington farmstead of Rotta's people, Norse as in Witherslack wooded valley, Haverthwaite clearing where oats were grown. The DIALECT of Cumbria is closely related to SCOTS and to the dialects from North and East YORKSHIRE northward. Westmorland speech has features in common with the north-western Yorkshire Dales, such as ‘skyool’ for school and ‘gaa’ for go. The dialect around Howden in East Yorkshire has more in common with that of Cumbria than with Wakefield, only 20 miles away in West Yorkshire.

The Lakeland Dialect Society was founded in 1939 to sustain interest in and use of the regional dialect. It publishes an annual journal whose poetry and prose attempts to display precise local usage with distinctive variants in spelling.

See DIALECT IN ENGLAND, NORSE, NORTHERN ENGLISH.

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Cumbria, county (1991 pop. 486,900), 2,635 sq mi (6,826 sq km), extreme NW England. The county stretches from the Morecambe Bay to Soloway Firth along the Irish Sea coast. It includes the Lake District, comprised of a series of volcanic rock and slate mountain peaks and lake-filled valleys. It also includes the Carlisle plain and the Eden and Kent river valleys. The county is divided into six administrative districts: Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Copeland, Eden, and South Lakeland. Tourism, sheep farming, salmon fishing, and mineral extraction are the primary industries. The area has been occupied by humans since the Neolithic Period. Northern Cumbria vacillated between Scottish and English rule until the mid-10th cent., when it was wrested from the Scots in 1157. The Lake District was home to poets such as William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey. The Lake District National Park is located in Cumbria.

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Cumbria. The new county of Cumbria was established by the Local Government Act of 1972, which joined the traditional counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, and added that section of north Lancashire to the south of the Lake District, and Sedbergh and Dentdale, taken from the west riding. It includes the whole of the Lake District and is bisected by the London–Glasgow railway and the M6. The county town is Carlisle.

J. A. Cannon

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Cumbria County in nw England, bounded by the Solway Firth (n), and the Irish Sea (w); the county town is Carlisle. The region includes the Lake District and the Cumbrian Mountains. Area: 6808sq km (2629sq mi). Pop. (2000 est.) 491,000.

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Cumbria an ancient kingdom of northern Britain; since 1974 the name has been used for a modern county of NW England, formed largely from the former counties of Westmorland and Cumberland.