History never forgets at The Rheged Centre
History never forgets and at The Rheged Centre that's oh so true, here they remember that the Lake District, before Cumbria was invented in 1974, was a part of a county named Westmorland. Westmorland being one of the historic 39 counties of England for a 1000 years as designated by Kings and Queens in a time of Sheriffs and taxes.
Westmorland adapted from Westmereland, mere meaning lake, the west lake lands. Based at Orton in Penreth, The Rheged Centre is not a museum but instead a full time exhibition centre with all year round visitor attractions, activities and things for the children to do, shops and shopping, cafeteria and restaurant and a cinema for all things Cumbrian and related to the Lake District.
The parts it does well is to offer a slice of Cumbria on a plate, with its focus on the local economy and businesses, allowing them to show and sell their wares in The Rheged Centre at the Taste Food Hall and the Made In Cumbria shops as well as bringing all of England under one roof.
The Rheged Centre has details on Events in Cumbria, Days out in Cumbria and Attractions in the lake district as well as hosting exhibitions and shows itself throughout the year.
There are however also a range of interactivity activities for children of all ages, workshops, pottery and painting as well as a cinema which shows historic local info films- look for one about King Rheged. There area variety of shops inside some brand names but mostly shops to cater for locally produced goods and food, from Cards, Splash Out, the well termed Toy Shop, Mountain Life, Taste Food Hall, Talent, Books, Sweets and the more specific Made In Cumbria.
Exhibition, shows and fairs are scheduled at the Rheged Centre all year round and some of the past events have been the Dressing the Stars Exhibition with Award-winning British Film Costumes, Pumpkin carving, Family theatre: the selfish crocodile, Lectures by Hunter Davies and Tim Emmett Fairs including Gluten Free food fair, Cumbria local and fair, Colin Caygill antiques fair and other festivals and exhibitions like the best of Kendal mountain festival 2011 and lake artist society exhibition.
The Rheged Discovery Centre is named Rheged and refers to a land before the carve up of the counties where parts of Scotland were still England and a time before Cumbria, its predecessor Westmorland and when Northern England spoke with a Celtic tongue, an old Brittonic language akin to Welsh.
Rehged's name comes from the King's own, King Urien Rheged who reigned between 550 and 590 AD. In conflicts against the Roman Empire, the Norse of Yorkshire and Britons of Strathclyde these Celtic Cumbrians eventually succumbed to losing their language and their royalty yet today Westmorland changing back to Cumbria links them back to their brothers in Wales (Cymru).
The Lake District has seen some water speed record breaking activity in its time both at Coniston Water (300 mph) and on Lake Windermere.
The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway runs several steam engines with some dating back to 1894.
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