Keswick, Cumberland Family History Guide

Keswick is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Cumberland, created in 1717 from a chapelry in Crosthwaite Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Briery Cottages and Greta Mills and Briery Cottages.

Alternative names:

Parish church:

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1839
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1839

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, None Identified, Plymouth Brethren, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

KESWICK, a town, a township, a chapelry, and a sub-district, in Cockermouth district, Cumberland. The town stands at the confluence of the rivers Derwent and Greta, in the vale between Derwent-water and Bassenthwaite-water, and on the Cockermouth and Penrith railway, 13 miles SE by E of Cockermouth. The vale around it is 3 miles long, from lake to lake; opens laterally into several other picturesque vales; and is overhung on the N by Skiddaw, and engirt elsewhere by a noble variety of receding heights. Coleridge compared it to the basin of Loch Lomond, with the difference that its central space, instead of being occupied by water, is covered with culture, villas, and town. The town has long been a chief centre for Lake tourists; and it is excelled by no other in Britain for command of richly picturesque and diversified scenery. It consists chiefly of one long street, with houses well-built, and generally of stone; it makes claim to considerable antiquity, and was a place of some note at the beginning of the 14th century; it is a seat of petty sessions and county-courts, and a polling-place; and it has a railway station with telegraph, a post office, under Windermere, two banking offices, several good hotels, many comfortable lodging houses, a townhall, two churches, two dissenting chapels, a grammar school, a public library and lecture hall, a mechanics’ institute, a museum, and some charities. An excellent hotel, with about 80 beds, and with warm, cold, and shower baths, was erected, in 1866, at the railwaystation. The town hall was built in 1813, on the site of the old court house; and has a clock bell of the year 1001, brought from the seat of the Ratcliffes on Lords, Island, in Derwent-water. One of the churches, and the grammar school, are noticed in our article CROSTHWAITE. The other church, that of St. John or of Keswick chapelry, stands at the S end of the town; was built in 1839, at a cost of fully £12,000, including the parsonage; and has a tower and spire. The public library was formed by bequest of the late Mr. Marshall of Halsteads, and is on a large scale. The museum contains antiquities, foreign curiosities, and objects of natural history, particularly those of the surrounding country; and the town hall contains an interesting model of the Lake region, from Sebergham to Rampside, and from Shap to Egremont. Facilities of every kind abound for boatings on the neighbouring lakes, and for excursions into the country. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and manufactures in pencils and linsey-woolsey stufffs are carried on. Sanitary improvements, as to drainage and water-supply, were recently effected. Numerous villas and mansions are in the neighbourhood. Lord chief-justice Banks was a native; and Green, the painter, Jonathan Otley, the original guide to the lakes, and Southey and Coleridge the poets, were residents. The town and the township are regarded as conterminate; they are in the parish of Crossthwaite; and they form part of Derwent-water manor, which belonged to the Earls of Derwent-water, passed to Greenwich Hospital, and was purchased by the late John Marshall, Esq. Real property of the township in 1860, £8,335; of which £115 were in gas works. Pop. in 1861, 2,610. Houses, 588. The chapelry is less extensive than the township, and was constituted in 1839. Pop., 1,583. Houses, 358. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Carlisle. Value, 220. Patrons, Two Trustees.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog - Free


Census returns for Keswick, 1841-1891

Church History

A Facet of life in Keswick, 1757-1975 : Methodism Author: Benjamin, Frederick A.; Mathews, O. M.

These sixty years : the story of Keswick Convention Author: Sloan, Walter B.

Church Records

Bishop’s transcripts for St. John Keswick, 1839-1881 Author: Church of England. Chapelry of St. John (Keswick, Cumberland)

Church records, 1840-1915 Author: Wesleyan Methodist Chapel (Keswick, Cumberland)

Church records, 1841-1910 Author: Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Cockermouth Circuit (Cumberland); Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Cockermouth and Keswick Circuit (Cumberland)

Church records, 1893-1956 Author: Primitive Methodist Church. New Street Circuit (Cockermoouth, Cumberland); Primitive Methodist Church. Keswick and Cockermouth Circuit. New Street Section (Cumberland)

Computer printout of Keswick, Cumb., Eng

Parish register printouts of Keswick, Cumberland, England ; marriages, 1839-1859 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department

Parish register printouts of Keswick, Cumberland, England christenings, 1839-1877 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Genealogical Department


Keswick : the story of a Lake District town Author: Bott, George

Land and property

Memoranda relative to Greenwich Hospital estates, 1715-1836 Author: Royal Hospital for Seamen (Greenwich, Kent)


School register of admission, progress and withdrawal, 1877-1965 Author: Newlands School (Keswick, Cumberland)

Business records and commerce

Elizabethan Keswick : extracts from the original account books, 1564-1577, of the German miners, in the archives of Augsburg Author: Collingwood, W. G. (William Gershom), 1854-1932


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Cumberland
  • Civil Registration District: Cockermouth
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Carlisle (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Carlisle
  • Rural Deanery: Allerdale
  • Poor Law Union: Cockermouth
  • Hundred: Allerdale below Derwent Ward
  • Province: York