Castlerigg stone circle, Keswick
Castlerigg stone circle, Keswick

Keswick is located at the north end of Derwent Water, beneath the considerable bulk of Skiddaw Peak. The town can lay claim to being something of a capital for the northern Lakes and makes an excellent base for travelling in the region.

The area is strong in literary associations; the poet Southey lived here from 1803-1843, and Samuel Coleridge inhabited Greta Hall (now part of Keswick School) from 1800-1809. On the outskirts of Keswick is Crosthwaite Church, established by St Kentigern in AD 533. Southey is buried in the churchyard, as is Canon Rawnsley, co-founder of the National Trust.

Keswick has a long heritage of mining; when Queen Elizabeth I enacted legislation aimed at improving the English mining industry she encouraged German miners to settle in the country. A thriving community settled near Keswick and operated copper mines in Borrowdale and Newlands Valley, as well as a smelter in nearby Brigham. Graphite mines opened in 1555 and the Cumberland Pencil Company was for many years one of the principal employers in Keswick. The company has a museum near its works yard at Greta Bridge.

Keswick from Catbells
Keswick from Catbells

The Moot Hall was a product of the 16th-century prosperity brought by the mining boom, though the building was later remodelled in the Victorian period. Many of the buildings in central Keswick boast 19th-century frontages over much older medieval cores. In the Edwardian period, Keswick became a popular leisure centre, with a variety of boarding houses and hotels springing up around the town. In the hills around the town, a plethora of Italianate villas sprouted up.

A popular attraction is the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, located on the north-east side of town in Fitz Park, where visitors can see a scale model of the Lake District; an invaluable aid to planning travel!. Just outside Keswick is Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the most atmospheric such circles in England. Located in a natural amphitheatre in the hills, Castlerigg can be reached by easy walks.

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Eden Valley

About Keswick
Address: Keswick, Lake District, Cumbria, England
Attraction Type: Town
Location map
OS: NY2723
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest

Derwent Island House - 0.4 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Keswick Museum - 0.4 miles (Museum) Heritage Rating

Castlerigg - 0.9 miles (Prehistoric Site) Heritage Rating

Crosthwaite, St Kentigern's Church - 1.1 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Derwentwater - 2 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Lodore Falls Waterfall - 2.6 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Dodd Wood - 3 miles (Countryside) Heritage Rating

Mirehouse - 3.9 miles (Historic House) Heritage Rating

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