Keswick

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Keswick
Cumberland
Keswick.jpg
The Moot Hall in central Keswick
Location
Grid reference: NY270233
Location: 54°35’60"N, 3°7’45"W
Data
Population: 4,984  (2001)
Post town: Keswick
Postcode: CA12
Dialling code: 017687
Local Government
Council: Allerdale
Parliamentary
constituency:
Workington

Keswick is a market town in Cumberland, just north of Derwent Water, and a short distance from Bassenthwaite Lake, both in the Lake District National Park. It is a popular town for visitors, and the majority of Keswick's businesses are tourism related, providing accommodation and facilities for the tens of thousands of people visiting the area each year.

In the centre of the town stands the Moot Hall, which acts as its focal point and the centre for the Saturday Market on the Market Square.

Keswick is in the mountainous area of Cumberland and several of the county's famous fells are close to the town, including the Skiddaw and Blencathra close by to the north and the northeast, and Helvellyn to the southeast. At the same time, some of the finest waters are hereabouts att he feet of the fells; Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite Lake and Thirlmere a little southward.

Despitethe high fells about it, Keswick is well linked by road, the A66, to the coast at Workington and with Penrith, while the A591 road connects to Windermere, Kendal and north to Carlisle.

Culture

The town's annual film festival brings many visitors; in 2006 it is estimated to have attracted almost 3,000 paying customers.

Keswick is also host to an annual beer festival which takes place on Keswick Rugby Union Club field and an annual jazz festival. The Beer Festival is held the first weekend in June, run jointly by Keswick Rugby Club & Keswick Lions. Over 5,000 people attend and can sample 200 real ales plus many ciders, lagers and bottle beers. Live bands play throughout the festival.

The Keswick Convention is a Christian convention that has met annually in the town since 1875. It typically attracts over 6,000 visitors per year and is usually held in the second and third weeks of July, although it has recently changed to the last two weeks of July and the first full week of August. Notable speakers at the convention have included Billy Graham, John Stott, George Verwer, Peter Maiden, Alistair Begg, Jonathan Lamb, Steve Brady, Vinoth Ramachandra, David Coffey, Joseph Stowell and Anne Graham Lotz. The main Convention Centre is located on Skiddaw Street.

A half marathon is held each May; the 13.1 mile course starts in Keswick, loops through Borrowdale and circles Derwent Water before finishing at Keswick Rugby Club. In May, 2007 the town hosted the Keswick Mountain Festival.

Keswick is the home of the modern Theatre by the Lake, the permanent home for repertoire and festivals. It carries on the tradition of summer season productions first started by Century Theatre in the 'Blue Box'. This was originally a mobile theatre which subsequently found a static home at Keswick for many years and is currently situated at Snibson Discovery Park in Leicestershire.

A panoramic view of Keswick, Derwentwater and the surrounding fells, as viewed from Latrigg, north of the town

Sights in and around the town

The pier on Derwent Water near Keswick
  • Keswick Museum and Art Gallery: a Victorian museum which features the famous Musical Stones of Skiddaw.
  • The Cumberland Pencil Museum. This details the manufacturing history of pencils and shows how pencils have been used through the ages.Cumberland Pencil Museum One of the exhibits is what is claimed to be the world's largest pencil.
  • Cars of the Stars Motor Museum: a motor vehicle museum featuring celebrity cars from television and film
  • A mining and rock museum.
  • Castlerigg stone circle, a well preserved prehistoric monument, is 2 miles away on the fell.
  • Hodgson How is a natural hill located west of Keswick. Hodgson How may have been a place of assembly or Norse thing or assembly. (How is from the Old Norse word haugr meaning mound.
  • Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in Fitz Park on the bank of the River Greta
  • Fitz Park: in 2001 voted the "Loveliest Cricket Ground in England" by Wisden Cricket Monthly."Fitz Park"

References