Lake District History

Lake District

A short history of the Lake District

The Lake District, the UKs largest National Park extending over an area of approximately 880 square miles, gained National Park status in 1951. The National Park Authority manage and maintain The Lake District National Park, which includes protecting the landscape, conservation, promoting the enjoyment of this beautiful region and also the public's understanding of the area, especially environmental issues. Located in Cumbria in the North West of England, The Lake District runs from Lindale in the south to Caldbeck in the North, and Shap in the East to Ravenglass in the West.

Farming has historically been the main industry in the region. Sheep farming in particular has been a main stay of the economy over the years, with the tough Herdwick breed being most closely associated with the area. To this day sheep farming remains an important factor both to the economy of The Lake District, as well as in preserving the stunning landscape which attracts visitors and hence income to the region.

Man has made a large contribution to the way in which the landscape in the Lake District has changed. The region remains one of the main sources of both granite and slate used in the building industry, and quarrying has inevitably left its marks on the landscape. Certain lakes provide a source of drinking water and man made reservoirs and dams have sympathetically been added to the landscape, which serve to enhance the beauty of the region.

The Lake District and the history of English literature in the 18th and 19th centuries are closely linked. The poet whose name was first connected with the region is Thomas Gray, who documented his Grand Tour in 1769. However, it was William Wordsworth who really put The Lake District on the map for lovers of English poetry. Wordsworth spent much of his life in and around the lakes and mountains, first as a schoolboy at Hawkshead, and afterwards living in Grasmere (1799-1813) and Rydal Mount (1813-50).

The Lake District National Park is the destination for millions of tourists who every year come to take on the challenges the mountains and fells have to offer, or the pleasures of hiking, sailing, and horse riding, and also to visit the numerous and varied attractions. events and festivals.