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September 3, 2022

‘A Way Through’ Exhibition – please see opening times

The Old Courthouse, Shap, Main Street
Shap, CA10 3NL
Horse and trap on a lane

Opening times:

  • Sat 10-12
  • Sun 2-5
  • Mon 10 -1
  • Tue 2-5
  • Wed CLOSED
  • Thu 2-5
  • Fri 2-5

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

The exhibition also marks the 50th anniversary of Westmorland Services, with photographs showing how the facilities have evolved over the years. Also on display are pencil artwork images created by local artist James Dean to mark the 50th anniversary.