1884 - 1984

Keswick School of Industrial Art was established in 1884 by Canon Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (1851-1920) and his wife, Edith Rawnsley, formerly Edith Fletcher (1847-1916) at Crosthwaite, near Keswick, Cumberland. The aim of the school was to provide evening classes in metalwork in the local parish rooms with daytime courses introduced in 1898. In 1885 the School was affiliated to the Home Arts and Industries Association. By the early 1890's they were exhibiting nationally and had established a reputation for the quality of work emanating from the School and swiftly developed a reputation for high-quality copper and silver decorative metalwork. In 1894 the School moved into new purpose-built premises at Greta Bridge where it remained for the next ninety years. In 1889 Marion Twelves, together with Edith Rawnsley, established a spinning and weaving business at the School which, supported and encouraged by John Ruskin, the business was known as the Keswick Ruskin Linen Industry which worked for five years. In 1896 a course in woodcarving was introduced, taught by Arthur W. Simpson. Courses in drawing and design, jewellery and embroidery also featured on the curriculum. The school was mainly financed from sales of its products, but its funds became insufficient in the 1980s, from a combination of inadequate marketing and cheaper imported goods and the School closed in December 1984.