Pencil Museum

Keswick Pencil Museum

Location : Keswick 

Enter the museum through the replica of the graphite mine which saw the foundation of the pencil industry more than 350 years ago. Then you can follow the path of pencil making from the reign of Elizabeth lst to the present day. Through words, pictures and carefully restored machinery, the Cumberland Pencil Museum takes you through the fascinating history of the pencil. A quiz for children makes the whole visit an adventure in discovery.
The video theatre shows two presentations – one is the story of pencil making at Keswick and the current production techniques, the other is an extract from Raymond Briggs animated cartoon ‘The Snowman’, which was drawn using Cumberland products.

An old pencil painting machine.

The three main constituents of any pencil are the outer finish, the wooden casing and the core. The casing is Californian cedar and there is a display showing the production of the ‘slats’ which form the basis of the pencils made here. The manufacturing processes of the core are explained, from the original use of local graphite to modern methods. You can see examples of some of the machinery used in the different stages of production. There is a painting machine – some pencils can have up to ten layers on the outside.
Other displays demonstrate the different uses of pencils, there is a techniques video to view, and an area for children to experiment with different pencils and crayons.

Children experimenting with different types of pencil.

The museum shop is the Company’s flagship store, offering the most comprehensive range of Derwent and Lakeland products anywhere in the UK. In addition they stock a wide range of accessories, and an extensive range of art related books.
There is a small coffee shop selling a wide range of refreshments, soup, sandwiches, Paninis, and cakes.
2021 Opening Times
Mon-Sun (09:30 – 16:00). Last admissions at 15:00.
2021 Admission Fees
Adult – £4.95
Senior/ student – £4.50
Child – £3.95
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Grid Ref: NY 262239