Keswick, The Lake District, England
Keswick (KEZ-ik) is an English market town and civil parish, historically Cumberland, and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdalein Cumbria. The town, in the Lake District National Park, just north of Derwentwater, and 4 miles (6.4 km) from Bassenthwaite, had a population of 4,821 at the time of the 2011 census. Walking in the fells is a major draw to Keswick and boots can be hired from George Fisher’s shop on Lake Road. Borrowdale, at the far end of the lake, is particularly interesting for climbers. Paragliders can often be seen flying from the hills around the town.
The rural economy was transformed in the reign of Elizabeth I, when minerals, copper in particular, were discovered in Newlands and Borrowdale. The discovery of black lead at Seathwaite in the 16th century sparked off pencil making which is still the major industry in the town. The Pencil Museumtells the story of pencil making in Keswick.
Visitors arrived in increasing numbers from the 1700’s, many of them literary pilgrims attracted by the area’s close association with the Romantic poets – Southey, Coleridge and Wordsworth.
Between 1885, when she was 19, and 1907, Beatrix Potter spent summer holidays at Lingholm and Fawe Park, the two stately homes whose estates now occupy most of the north western side of Derwentwater. The two houses, their gardens and the surrounding landscape provided material for several of her books.
The Keswick Museum & Art Gallery is a purpose built Victorian museum, hardly changed today since it was created, with a local history collection, and original manuscripts from the Lake Poets.
At Friars Crag is a memorial, unveiled in 1900, to John Ruskin, who had many associations with the town. He once said Keswick was a place almost too beautiful to live in. There is also a memorial to Canon Rawnsley.
The Theatre by the Lake between the lakeside car-park and Derwentwater is a purpose built theatre to replace the ‘Century Theatre’ – a chaotic collection of blue portacabins which used to occupy the site.
The Victorian church of St John was designed by Anthony Salvin for the founder, John Marshall, who lived on nearby Derwent Isle. In the grounds is the grave of the author Hugh Walpole, who lived at Brackenburn, from 1924 until his death in 1941.
Peter Myers was born and raised in Keswick. The Original Myers Butcher was located on Station street and is now the home of Thomasons Butcher. The Myers family lived there until the butcher shop closed and they sold the building. If you are fortunate enough to visit, may we also suggest that while you are in sunny Keswick, that you drop into one of our favorite places . Steve Clark’s "The Kingfisher" fish and chip shop. It is located at the bottom end of town, near Booths Supermarket. Tell them that you have come from the USA, and they will obligingly add 10% extra to your bill!! Try any of his specials and you are sure to be happy. He is the son of Mike Clark, a world renowned chef and the owner of the Michael's Butchers (unfortunately no longer in business).
For more information, visit: www.visitcumbria.com