Bampton and District Local History Society

The local history of Bampton, Cumbria


Ploughing in Latin book
Lake District National Park Archaeology Volunteer Survey
The Bampton and District Local History Society aims to record and investigate the physical and social history in the Bampton area. Our programme of meetings is primarily focussed on specifically local subjects, with an emphasis on seeking out Bampton's history 'on the ground'. We do undertake specific projects and will aim to record their proceedings here online, as well as build up a physical archive.

Bampton is on the east side of the Lake District near Shap and Penrith in Cumbria, England, UK - map. Our area primarily includes Bampton, Bampton Grange, Burnbanks, Rosgill, Butterwick, Knipe and Mardale. Nearby areas include Shap, Swindale, Helton, Whale and Askham.

We have produced two books: "Ploughing in Latin" and "Cast Iron Community". These may be available for purchase locally or by mail order as described below.

Tinclar's Library is sited in Bampton Grange - this is usually open the every Monday lunchtime including most bank holidays.

Westmorland Dream cake Recipes

Marion Drinkwater has been providing biscuits, cakes, small cakes and tray bakes for our meetings. She has kindly made the recipes available to us here.

Haweswater Action Committee Haweswater Action Committee

The North West Water Authority (NWWA) was created by Act of Parliament in 1974. Charged with reviewing the available water supply, the NWWA concluded that there was insufficient to meet future needs. In 1976, it announced plans to increase the amount of water it abstracted from several sources including Haweswater. Local people feared that the NWWA would transform Haweswater into ’a vast storage tank’, held back by a new, higher dam.

The NWWA presented their controversial proposals to a public meeting in Bampton Memorial Hall on the 24th February 1977. There was strong opposition and it was immediately decided to form a committee to oppose any enlargement of Haweswater. The Haweswater Action Committee (HAC), a small local group, took on the large, regional power of North West Water.


Archaeology of Bampton Common 2024

Following a talk by Ormonde Joel and Jon Hinchliffe detailing results from the Lake District National Park's Archaeology Volunteer Survey of Bampton Common, Ormonde and Jon took a group of 20 BDLHS members on a walk on the Haweswater side of Bampton Common to explore the vast amount of archaeology on show. From Pre-historic cairns and settlements to 19th Century mines and quarry infrastructure, the group spent a fascinating evening exploring an area often overlooked when walking close to Haweswater.

Swindale Head Rainfall Recording in Swindale

Marion Drinkwater recounts how she recorded the rainfall in Swindale from 1980 to 2013. Read more

The Wilkinson and Ashworth Tragedy of 1874

Learn about the tragic death of Robert Noble Wilkinson and George Ashworth who drowned in Haweswater in 1874 in this article by Raymond Greenhaw posted in 2016 and in this more recent revision by Richard Jennings (2018). Both references are independent works not carried out by Bampton & District Local History Society members.

Widewath and its Buildings

John Garside has compiled a fascinating report after a BDLHS visit to Widewath in May 2013.

Download the 'Widewath and its Buildings' report (3MB PDF)

Commons Stories - a report on the history of Bampton Commons

This report on the history of Bampton Commons was compiled following the University of Lancaster ‘Commons Stories’ Cumbria workshop held in November 2012. Local historians, commoners, and other local people from Bampton attended the workshop and subsequently they provided a valuable platform for the research. The aim was to discover how Bampton commons had changed since 1900 in their use, appearance and governance with an emphasis on oral as well as documentary evidence.

Download the 'Common Stories' report (1.5MB PDF)

Cast Iron Community book “Cast Iron Community” book - a History of Burnbanks, Haweswater - 2nd edition, 2019

Reprint now available (2019). Published in December 2006, this book is the culmination of our Burnbanks project, our record of the Haweswater dam-builder's settlement at Burnbanks.

Ploughing in Latin book “Ploughing in Latin: a history of Bampton”, 2nd edition, 2012.

Ploughing in Latin, highly successful and award winning in its 1st edition sold out. Steady demand encouraged us to produce a 2nd edition, bringing the story of Bampton up-to-date. It is available by mail order from:

'When the War Is Over' book cover “When the War Is Over” book by Barbara Fox

Barbara Fox's new book describes the second world war experiences of her mother Gwenda and uncle Douglas as evacuees in Bampton. Read more. This book is not produced by BDLHS.

First prize at the Lakeland Book of the Year 2007 in the Business and Industry section

"Cast Iron Community" was awarded first prize in the Business and Industry section of the Lakeland Book of the Year 2007 competition at a special literary luncheon held at the Langdale Chase Hotel, Windermere on Tuesday June 26. Bob Dickman (President), Jane Gregg (Editor) and Pat Garside (Burnbanks Project Coordinator) received a gold framed certificate and cheque for £125 on behalf of BDLHS.

Pat Garside said later: "Heartfelt thanks to all of you who participated in the Burnbanks project and whose contributions helped us to produce the prizewinning 'Cast Iron Community'. It was a sustained community effort that enabled us to tell the remarkable story of Burnbanks."

Cumbria Tourism Lakeland Book of the Year 2007 The competition was organised by Cumbria Tourism and celebrity author Hunter Davies.

Meetings Programme 2024

Unless otherwise indicated, meetings commence at 7:30pm and will be in Bampton Memorial Hall; members £1, visitors £3.

Tuesday 9th January 2024 at 2PM
"Folklore, traditions & customs of the Lake District" by Jean Scott-Smith
Tuesday 6th February 2024 at 2PM
"Holidaying in the Lake District in the 1940s and 1950s" by Dr Rob David
Tuesday 5th March 2024
"LDNP Archaeology Volunteer Survey Results Bampton Common" by Ormonde Joel & Jon Hinchliffe Poster (DOC)
Tuesday 9th April 2024
"Around the Farmhouse Fireplace" by Christine Craghill
Tuesday 7th May 2024: meet at 7pm Burnbanks
A walk on the Haweswater side of Bampton Common with Ormonde Joel & Jon Hinchliffe

List of all BDLHS meetings

BDLHS meet at HGaweswater 2021

Cumbria County History Trust

Cumbria County History Trust

The Society is a Member of the Cumbria County History Trust and members of the Society are actively involved in its work. The Trust was launched in May 2010 to coordinate and gather resources for the Victoria County History of Cumbria project, a collaborative community project created to research and write the histories of all parts of Cumbria, and to make historical information generally available, within the framework and standards of the Victoria County History of England.

The aim is to initiate a step-change in the awareness and understanding of Cumbria’s local historical heritage, by harnessing the enthusiasm for local history which exists widely across Cumbria, and pooling expertise with a view to eventually producing a series of ‘big red books’, covering every parish and township in Cumbria.

The Cumbria County History Trust is a charity which any interested individual, history and heritage society, museum, or commercial organisation can join.

Full details can be found on the Trust’s website,

Bampton Tithe Map Bampton Tithe Map

The Bampton Tithe Map of 1838-9 and its apportionment schedule shows how much tithe was due from each farmer each year. The Tithe Map parchment originals are very large and delicate - one is kept in the Kendal Record Office and another in the National Archive at Kew, London.

In a recent project using an Awards for All grant, Bampton and District Local History Society transcribed the tithe map entries into a database - view the tithe map agreement, schedule and database online.

August 2007: We have just updated the tithe map database with an extra field containing current property names. This information was painstakingly collected by John Stacey and is a good addition to the database as it is probably what people will search on first!


The annual membership fee is £6.00 payable from 15th October.

About us

Email us - Hazel Eccles 01931 713311


BDLHS is a member of Cumbria Local History Federation.

Shap Local History Society and other information can be found at - click on History on menu at left.

Who to contact about family ancestry, records of births, deaths, etc

We are not able to assist in enquiries regarding family ancestry, records of births, deaths, etc. Our archive does not contain any such material. The only reference to individuals we hold are names who may perhaps have been mentioned in course of an interview, or any of our recent projects we have undertaken.

Tinclar's Library is sited in Bampton Grange - this is usually open the first Monday evening of every month.

Genealogy enquiries should be directed to the relevant official records office which for Bampton and the district are:

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