Keswick Crescent

At the heart of the eastern part of the modern Estover estate is Keswick Crescent, off which run a number of other thoroughfares that owe their names to various places in the Lake District.

Keswick is a particularly interesting town near the north end of Derwent Water. A market town since 1276 its economy was transformed in the sixteenth century when minerals were discovered in the area, notably copper and graphite, black lead. Local shepherds at first thought the latter was coal but it wouldn’t burn – then they found it was ideal material for marking sheep. During Elizabeth I’s time graphite or “wad” as it was known locally, was principally used in making moulds for cannonballs but before long another use of Cumberland graphite was realised and very swiftly a major pencil industry was established. At first it was held in sheepskin then the Italians developed a wooden holder and before long many people around Keswick were involved in the industry – there is a fine pencil museum there today.

The name Keswick itself though is derived from two Old English terms “cese” – cheese – and “wic” – dairy farm and like Cheswick and Chiswick means “dairy farm”.