Keswick is an English Market town and civil parish formerly part of Cumberland and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. The town, in the Lake District National Park, is just north of Derwentwater and 4 miles from Bassenthwaite.
Keswick is an English Market town and civil parish formerly part of Cumberland and since 1974 in the Borough of Allerdale in Cumbria. The town, in the Lake District National Park, is just north of Derwentwater and 4 miles from Bassenthwaite. There is considerable evidence of prehistoric occupation of the Keswick area, but the first recorded mention of the town dates from the 13th century, when Edward I of England granted a charter for Keswick’s market, which has maintained a continuous 700-year existence. In Tudor times the town was an important mining area, and from the 18th century onwards it has increasingly been known as a holiday centre; tourism has been its principle industry for more than 150 years.
Its features include the Moot Hall; a modern theatre, the Theatre by the Lake; one of Britain’s oldest serving cinemas, the Alhambra; and the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in the town’s largest open space, Fitz Park. Among the town’s annual events is the Keswick Convention, an Evangelical gathering attracting visitors from many countries. Livestock fairs have always been an annual event and the famous Keswick Cheese Fairs used to be held regularly in the late autumn until the early 1900’s.
Modern day Keswick Market still stands on the same spot as it did in its early days, on the now pedestrianised Market Square and Main Street that runs down the centre of the town. The Market stalls run down the centre of the square with enough room left down either side to cater for the 1,000’s of visitors and also enough space to fit vehicles alongside the stalls in case of an emergency.
The Market stands on both sides of Keswick’s most prominent building, the Moot Hall, which dates back to the year 1571 and once housed part of the Market but has also been used as a meeting hall, a prison, a court house and the Town Hall. Being located in the very heart of the famous Lake District, which attracts hikers, walkers and sightseers from not just all over the UK, but all over the world. Many traders commented on the worldwide audiences the Market appeals to. Its town centre and consequently its Market are usually extremely busy and well attended throughout most of the year.
For the last 15 years private market operator Groupe Geraud Ltd has run Keswick Market after winning the contract off of Allerdale Borough Council’s Markets. The traders and management of the market work hand in hand to create a fantastic market and one that has been crowned ‘Best Outdoor Market’ in the recent 2015 Great British Market Awards. This is a brilliant achievement for all the hard work that goes on at the market by all involved and is richly deserved.
The Market originally took place on Saturdays throughout the year and has been built up to around 72 stalls. However, over a decade ago Groupe Geraud introduced a weekly ‘Local Produce and Craft Market’ on Thursdays, originally standing from March to October. The second day quickly became very popular with both locals and visitors alike and has grown to now include both local produce and craft plus general Market goods.
The space allocated by the council for the Thursday Market is smaller than on Saturdays but still consists of around 66 stalls. Due to the popularity of the Thursday Market the trading season has been extended so that it now stands from mid-February until Christmas each year. Both Thursday and Saturday Markets are open for business each Market day from 10.00am to 4.30pm (3.30pm during the winter), however traders arrive to set up their stalls from 6.00am.
If any people are walking through the market before it opens and traders are set up they are more than happy to serve them. Peter Fearon and his team set the stalls up each Market day morning. Twice a week they arrive at the Market without fail, come rain or shine and do a fantastic job or ensuring the stalls are ready for the traders. Brand new gazebos will soon replace all the current stalls, which are supplied by Groupe Geraud.
There is a brilliant variety of products available on both Market days at Keswick, from your everyday needs to unique and wonderful items. All of the traders are very positive about the market and cannot rate it highly enough. They have a very good relationship with all of the shops surrounding the market, which creates a fantastic buzz in the town centre. The award winning market really is testament to both the operator and traders who have put so much effort into making Keswick Market as popular and successful as it is today. All of the traders are also very keen to support local charities and hold many different fundraisers at the Market throughout the year. This is something that the management of the Market are 100% behind and get involved as much as they can.
The Market is currently fully occupied on both days throughout the season with a long waiting list.
However, if you are interested in going on the waiting list or wish to find out any further information you can contact Market Officer Phil Byers on 07753 934 540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Market Officer, Phil Byers, told MTN,
“Keswick market has an excellent range of goods for sale, locally made products and international produce. There is always a great atmosphere and a really good relationship between us at Geraud, the traders’, the customers and the town and district councils. We are all delighted to have won the “Best Large Outdoor Market” award and will work hard to maintain or even improve if possible”
Telephone 07753 934 540