Keswick Mining Museum

Useful Information

Location: Keswick center, Otley House in Otley Road.
(54.602177, -3.137093)
Open: closed.
Fee: closed.
Classification: SubterraneaMining Museum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Keswick Mining Museum, Otley House, Otley Road, Keswick, CA12 5LE, Tel: +44-17687-80055. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1564 German miners arrived in search for copper and lead, start of mining.
2013 musem closed, owner retired.


The Keswick Mining Museum is located in the centre of Keswick. This town is said to be the cradle of Cumbrian mining. The first mining activities were started by German miners which sought for lead and copper in 1564. The graphite found at Borrowdale was the base of a pencil industry. Another first, as it was the first discovery of this mineral in the world and never bettered in quality. Many other minerals were mined in this geologically rich area, slate, coal, iron, baryte and gypsum.

The Keswick Mining Museum was the first mining museum to be established in Cumbria. Its collection includes the finest collection of mining memorabilia in the country, namely the Ian Tyler Collection, the Willie Shaw Collection of Minerals and part of the William Creighton and the Willie Hemmingway Collection. The Geology and Mineral Room explains the geological structure of Cumbria, including the minerals and ores and the fossils of dinosaurs which can be found here. The Crystal Cave is a display of fluorescent minerals. There are also displays of Cumbria's gunpowder manufacture and use, the Mines Rescue Service. The historic exhibition concentrates on the lives of the miners, the Elizabethan Period and the history of Keswick Town. The museum shop provides more than 1,500 mining and geology related books.

The museum does not exist anymore. It was closed in 2013, when the owner retired, and obviously nobody was interested to continue the work. As there are numerous show mines and museums in the area it was probably not very profitable. We normally do not delete pages of closed sites, even if there is no chance of reopening, so we will keep this page without further maintenance.