The Keswick Museum & Art Gallery

Station Road, Keswick, CA12 4NF
Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

(Stephen Craven / Wikipedia.org)

On the edge of the delightful Fitz Park north of Keswick Town Centre you will find the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery.

The eclectic collection of over 20,000 exhibits includes tools used by our ancient ancestors, locally created arts and crafts, and an intriguing collection of specimens detailing our natural history.

There are regular special exhibitions, activities and trails for children, and a café with a terrace and fabulous park views.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01768 773 263 / Website
Cost:
Adult £4.50, Child 5-15 years £3, Children Under 5 Free (Tickets are valid for 12 months)
Seasonal Opening:
All Year
 

History

Whilst the museum originally opened in 1873, it was not until 1898 that it moved into its current building, built in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. An art gallery was added a few years later thanks to the efforts of Canon Rawnsley, one of the founders of the National Trust.

The collections have grown over the years and at the beginning of the 21st century it was acknowledged that the Victorian era building was no longer fit for purpose. In 2012, the museum closed for an extensive refurbishment programme, reopening in 2014.

Things To See

There are extensive collections covering a wide range of interests at the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery including:

  • Archaeology – Including prehistoric axes and Roman and medieval ceramics.
  • Decorative Arts - With metal works from the Keswick School of Industrial Arts, founded by Canon Rawnsley.
  • Fine Art – Featuring that primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries.
  • Geology – With over 3,000 mineral, rock, and fossil samples, including those collected by John Ruskin.
  • Literature – Material from several notable Lake District writers, including Wordsworth and Coleridge.
  • Natural History – Featuring mounted insect specimens, taxidermy, and a 700-year-old naturally mummified cat.
  • Social History – Celebrating the leisure activities of generations past, here you will find a set of musical stones, also known as a geological piano.

For children, there are a number of quizzes and trails for them to complete. Outside in Fitz Park, there is a large play area with sections suitable for all ages.

Useful Information

On the ground floor of the museum, there is a café that opens up onto a terrace overlooking the park, serving cakes, light lunches, and snacks.

There is a shop selling locally produced art, crafts, and produce, as well as books and souvenirs. The museum is fully accessible for wheelchair users throughout.

Map

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