Traditional county of Westmorland
- Total
- % Water
Ranked 29th
500,906 acres
? %
County town Appleby-in-Westmorland
Chapman code WES
Arms of the former Westmorland County Council
Status: Administrative county
HQ: County Hall, Kendal
Created: 1889
Abolished: 1974
Succeeded by: Cumbria

Westmorland (formerly also spelt Westmoreland) is one of the 39 traditional counties of England and a former administrative county of north-western England. It lies within the boundaries of the modern administrative county of Cumbria.


Westmorland is bordered to the north by Cumberland, to the east by County Durham and Yorkshire, and to the south and west by Lancashire. It includes the towns of Ambleside, Appleby-in-Westmorland (the traditional county town), Kendal, Kirkby Stephen, Milnthorpe and Windermere. Within Westmorland's boundaries are large parts of the Lake District National Park.

The highest point of the county is Helvellyn at 950m (3,117 ft). It includes the lakes of Windermere, Ullswater, Haweswater, Grasmere, Rydal Water, Elterwater, Hayeswater and Brothers Water.


Early history

Rather than being divided into hundreds, Westmorland was subdivided into two baronies of Westmorland (or sometimes Appleby) and Kendal. The baronies were further subdivided into two wards each — Westmorland into the East ward and West ward, and Kendal into Kendal ward and Lonsdale ward.

Modern history

In 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, a county council was created for the administrative county of Westmorland. The county council was based in Kendal, not Appleby.

The Local Government Act 1894 further divided the county into urban districts and rural districts. Although some of Westmorland's urban districts were very small and would have probably been parts of rural districts in other counties, Kendal and Appleby were governed as municipal boroughs, despite being smaller than some urban districts in other parts of England.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the administrative county was abolished and its area was combined with Cumberland and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire to form the non-metropolitan county of Cumbria.

Modern usage

Westmorland is still used as a placename by organisations such as the Westmorland Gazette, the Westmorland County Agricultural Society Show and the Westmorland Shopping Centre. Much of the county is included with the Westmorland and Lonsdale parliamentary constituency.

In June 1994, during the 1990s UK local government reform, the Local Government Commission published draft recommendations, suggesting a South Cumbria unitary authority, whose northern boundary would broadly match that of Westmorland's historic boundary, but also including Furness. It also recommended that the border between Westmorland and Yorkshire and Lancashire be restored for ceremonial purposes. The final recommendations, published in October 1994, did not include such recommendations, apparently due to lack of expression of support for the proposal to the commission.

Towns and villages

Major Towns

Smaller towns and villages

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Counties that originate prior to 1889

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