Current exhibition

The Westmorland Dales is bounded on all sides by major through-routes - the Lune gap; the Eden valley and east to west through Ravenstonedale to Kirkby Stephen. In between there are miles of lanes and paths. For thousands of years, people and their animals have used these ways through the landscape and they have all left their mark. The ‘A Way Through’ project aims to explore the history of these routes and of the people who travelled them and to share their stories with the wider public.

Shap is one of the villages the project has been investigating. The arrival of the M6 removed all but local traffic from the village. Before then, the A6 was a major north-south route, mostly following the line of the eighteenth century turnpike to Kendal and beyond. These roads brought money and jobs to the village as did the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway line opened in 1846. But Shap has a much older history of travel and the prosperity it brings. This exhibition at The Old Courthouse will explore some of these fascinating stories from the Neolithic to the Victorian era.

Read more about ‘A Way Through’ on the project blog

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Westmorland Services a display of photographs illustrating how the facilities have evolved over the years will be on display along with pencil artwork by local artist, James Dean, an employee of the Westmorland Family, who created special images to mark the 50th anniversary.


The ‘A Way Through’ project is run by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, funded by the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership Scheme, jointly led by the Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. The scheme was grant funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Coming up.....


Deborah Windsor

8th October - 5th November