Keswick, Cumbria

Montage of outdoor shots of Keswick buildings
Keswick is located in Cumbria
Location within Cumbria
Population5,243 (2011)[1]
Civil parish
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townKESWICK
Postcode districtCA12
Dialling code017687
AmbulanceNorth West
EU ParliamentNorth West England
UK Parliament
List of places
54°36′00″N 3°07′45″W / 54°36′00″N 3°07′45″W / 54.5999; -3.1293

Keswick (k/ KEZ-ik) is an English market town and a civil parish, historically in Cumberland, and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. Lying within the Lake District National Park, Keswick is just north of Derwentwater and is 4 miles (6.4 km) from Bassenthwaite Lake. It had a population of 5,243 at the 2011 census.

There is evidence of prehistoric occupation of the area, but the first recorded mention of the town dates from the 13th century, when Edward I of England granted a charter for Keswick's market, which has maintained a continuous 700-year existence. The town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century has been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principal industry for more than 150 years. Its features include the Moot Hall; a modern theatre, the Theatre by the Lake; one of Britain's oldest surviving cinemas, the Alhambra; and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in the town's largest open space, Fitz Park. Among the town's annual events is the Keswick Convention, an Evangelical gathering attracting visitors from many countries.

Keswick became widely known for its association with the poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. Together with their fellow Lake Poet William Wordsworth, based at Grasmere, 12 miles (19 km) away, they made the scenic beauty of the area widely known to readers in Britain and beyond. In the late 19th century and into the 20th, Keswick was the focus of several important initiatives by the growing conservation movement, often led by Hardwicke Rawnsley, vicar of the nearby Crosthwaite parish and co-founder of the National Trust, which has built up extensive holdings in the area.


The town is first recorded in Edward I's charter of the 13th century, as "Kesewik".[3] Scholars have generally considered the name to be from the Old English, meaning "farm where cheese is made", the word deriving from "cēse" (cheese) with a Scandinavian initial "k" and "wīc" (special place or dwelling), although not all academics agree. George Flom of the University of Illinois (1919) rejected that derivation on the grounds that a town in the heart of Viking-settled areas, as Keswick was, would not have been given a Saxon name; he proposed instead that the word is of Danish or Norse origin, and means "Kell's place at the bend of the river".[4] Among the later scholars supporting the "cheese farm" toponymy are Eilert Ekwall (1960) and A. D. Mills (2011) (both Oxford University Press), and Diana Whaley (2006), for the English Place-Name Society.[5][6][n 1]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Keswick (Cumbria)
dansk: Keswick
español: Keswick
한국어: 케직
Nederlands: Keswick (Cumbria)
日本語: ケズィック
norsk nynorsk: Keswick i Cumbria
português: Keswick
română: Keswick
Simple English: Keswick
svenska: Keswick
Volapük: Keswick
中文: 凯西克