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The History of the Northern Lake District at Keswick museum

Tel: 017687 73263

Location: Fitz Park, Station Road, Keswick


Keswick MuseumThe Museum tells the story of Keswick and the surrounding area. Keswick has a unique history, with lots of 'firsts', including the first pencils, some very famous residents, and lots of beautiful scenery so awe inspiring that early tourists were left terrified.


The Museum was purpose built in 1897, is made of local green volcanic 'slate' and St. Bees sandstone. It is set in the beautiful Fitz Park, with tennis, putting, bowls and large childrens' playground nearby, riverside walks and picnic area. It is the only purpose built museum in the Lake District, and it still retains its Victorian feel.


There is a lot to see in the Museum and children love it. Some of the stories in the Museum include:

  • The Discovery of the Lake District as a tourist destination over 200 years ago
  • The honeycombing of the area by mining for precious metals by order of Queen Elizabeth I
  • The first recreational use of the fells as the sport of Rock Climbing was invented, and the amazing photographs taken by the mountaineering Abraham brothers
  • The discovery of Lakeland's beauty by the romantic writers and poets of the 1800s
  • The development of the environmental movement with the founding of The National Trust, principally by one of Keswick's leading citizens, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

In addition the Museum exhibits:

  • A stunning collection of crystals and minerals
  • Flintoft's amazing 4m Scale Model of the Lake District
  • Original letters by Southey, Wordsworth and Walpole
  • The famous 500 year old cat
  • The remarkable Musical Stones, played by Royal Command for Queen Victoria