Rusland Local History Group (2019 - now)

Two projects started in early 2020 researching ancient routeways and old orchards. (These have been 'on hold' since February 2020, but the keen team of volunteers are ready to resume once the Covid pandemic allows..)

Under the auspices of the Rusland Horizons Trust, we have formed a Local History Group. This will continue the work of the Mapped Histories and Archaeology 'Lives in the Landscape' projects, as well as embarking on new work. Close links with the Oral Histories project will be maintained.

Two new projects were started in early 2020 (just before Covid)

  • Orchards: Discovering and mapping the location of old orchards and their tree species, where known. This may lead to orchard restoration projects.
  • Ancient Routeways: Researching, discovering (on the ground) and mapping old routeways in the Rusland area.

These projects are currently 'on hold' until the Covid pandemic allows us to resume something like normal life and our enthusiastic band of volunteers can get together again.  Some progress has been made with building a database of local orchards and mapping some of the ancient routes. If you are interested in contributing to or helping lead these projects, then please contact us at

1851 OS map showing orchards at Finsthwaite House

So far so good...

  • The first Local History Group meeting was held on 11th February 2020 at Oxen Park Reading Rooms. 25 people attended.
  • The new Orchards project made contact with the South Lakeland Orchard Group and the People's Trust for Endangered Species Orchards Project
  • An orchard database has been built to record the location of our Rusland orchards, their constituent trees and condition.
  • The Ancient Routeways project is researching the routes used by the Abbots of Furness to access their farms or 'granges' in High Furness.
  • These projects are ready to resume once the Covid pandemic allows.

Did you know?

There is an ancient route from Hawkshead to Dalton that runs high over Bethecar Moor. It was used to carry corpses to the mother church at Dalton, and in the reverse direction, to carry iron ore to the bloomeries in Rusland.


© Rusland Horizons 2017 - 2024. All rights reserved.
Rusland Horizons was a Landscape Partnership funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund until July 2019. It is now being delivered by The Rusland Horizons Trust Limited. Company No. 2133450; Charity No. 519410; Registered Office: Bleacott Farm, Witherslack, Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria LA11 6RZ.