The Industrial Archaeology of Cumbria

Ref: C3846178

This introductory course will look at the surviving physical remains relating to 18th to early 20th century industry in Cumbria. The county encompasses the coastal lowlands of Furness in the south-west, the west coast around Whitehaven, and the northern Solway plain, the hills of the Lake District, and to the east the Eden & Lune valleys and the north-west Pennines. The county is rich in minerals and was one of the powerhouses of the industrial revolution through mining and textiles. Key industries include cotton and linen, bobbin making, coal and metal mining, and quarrying, supported by canals, ports, roads, and railways. This six-week course will cover the physical remains of the mining and textile industries, and the support industries such as iron processing, ports, canals and railways, as well as industrial agriculture (cornmills & limekilns).

Course aim

This course introduces students to the surviving industrial archaeology remains of Cumbria. Archaeological research will be used to discuss the main industries in the county: textiles, extractive industries, iron working, canals and railways.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Name three of the main industries that flourished in Cumbria during the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Describe two survey techniques used for recording the past used by archaeologists.
  • Suggest two reasons as to why the Industrial Revolution happened in Cumbria.
  • Name some other sources used by Industrial archaeologists to support archaeological research.

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need an internet connection. You will need access to the internet outside your sessions. You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform. All other course materials will be provided online.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Industrial Archaeology of Cumbria


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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