The market town of Keswick is the most northerly of the Lake District’s major towns. Keswick has one of the most beautiful locations, situated between the cloud capped fells of the Skiddaw group, the oldest group of rocks in the Lake District and the island dotted lake of Derwentwater.
Edward I granted the town its market charter in 1276, which has maintained a 700 year existence.
In the 16th century, the discovery of black lead, now known as graphite, at Seathwaite, sparked off pencil making. It is still a major industry in the town. The Pencil Museum in Keswick tells the story of pencil making through the ages.
In Tudor times the town was an important mining area, when minerals, particularly copper, were discovered in Newlands and Borrowdale.
Increasing numbers of people, started visiting Keswick from the 1700’s. It was sparked by the many literary pilgrims attracted to the area’s close association with the Romantic poets, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey.
In 1883 Hardwicke Rawnsley was appointed vicar of Crosthwaite and served as vicar until 1917. Keswick’s original settlement was at Crosthwaite, on the Western side of the town. The first Church built at Crosthwaite was in 553 AD, was named St Kentigern. Rawnsley was one of the co-founders of the National Trust, which now owns much lof the and in the area.