Cumbria is the birthplace of the pencil. Legend says it all began in the early 1500s when a violent storm in Borrowdale led to trees being uprooted.
A strange black material was discovered underneath. The substance was initially thought to be a form of lead. It was actually graphite. And it was soon apparent that this stuff could be used to mark paper. The discovery revolutionised writing and drawing.
Keswick became the pencil capital of the world, leading to the formation of Britain’s first pencil factory in 1832.
The Cumberland Pencil Company was formed in Keswick in 1916 and opened the pencil museum in 1981.