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Keswick seen from the lake
with Skiddaw in the background.

A walk around the town will reveal several buildings of historic interest. The Moot Hall in Market Square, built in 1813, is now home to the Tourist Information Centre, it is a striking building. Toll Bar Cottage in Main Street was built for the collection of tolls from travellers from Kendal to Cockermouth. Crosthwaite Parish Room, Main Street, was built in 1879 to commemorate the vicar of Crosthwaite church.

The Primavera Restaurant was until 1984 the Keswick School of Industrial Arts. Canon Rawnsley ( one of the founders of the English National Trust) was responsible for its construction in 1893-94: as the name suggests it was used for the training of pupils in crafts using various metals. It is a handsome building in the local green slate, in style owing something to the Arts and Crafts movement.

Nearby is Porch Cottage formerly the home of the Ruskin Linen Industry, a business that thrived for a number of years from late last century, that exported all over the world.

The church of St. John the Evangelist was built in1838 by the noted architect Anthony Salvin, though with later additions. The novelist Hugh Walpole is buried in its graveyard, from where you can enjoy the views over to the lake. The Keswick Convention ( a regular Christian meeting ) was founded in 1873 by the then vicar, the Reverend Canon Harford Battersly and Robert Wilson, and has been held every July since.

Walk down to the lake past the boat landings, where you can catch the ferry around the lake, and you will come across the monument to Ruskin: continue on the path and you will come to Friars Crag where pilgrims ferried across to St. Herberts Island.

In the opposite direction along Main Street and over the River Greta is Crosthwaite Old School, dating back at least to 1571. Then on to the church of St. Kentigern at Crosthwait. The site takes its name from Saint Kentigern who was supposed to have founded the church in 553: the existing church dates from the 1300's, with additions and improvements up to the 1500's.

After all this walking about you may want to rest at Fitz Park on the banks of the River Greta, on the north side of the town centre, near the museum and art gallery, the swimming pool and the old railway station





Copyright EDGE 1997