The Cumberland Pencil Museum.

Of course a ‘lead pencil’ has lead in it!

Actually no –  the centre of a pencil is pure, solid graphite.

To find out why it is called ‘pencil lead’ Papa Joe and I visited delightful Cumberland Pencil Museum. Having obtained our entry ticket – a pencil of course – we entered through a mock up of a graphite mine into the main museum.

cumberland pencil museum ticket

This has to be the most useful museum entrance ticket!

Suitable for 2+

Where: The Cumberland Pencil Museum, Southey Works, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5NGa 
Admission: under 5 FREE – concessions – family admissiion
Website: www.pencilmuseum.co.uk

The museum has some fascinating displays ranging from a gigantic pencil hanging from the ceiling to tiny miniature sculptures created from the point of a pencil.

There are detailed explanations of how pencils are made, which suited Papa Joe while The Mayhems enjoyed the excellent colourful explanations by ‘Drew’ the giant.

cumberland pencil museum drew 1

There are worksheets for The Mayhems to complete which also include some jokes about pencils.

cumberland pencil museum worksheet

Complete the worksheet and receive a prize of 2 coloured pencils

Coloured pencils and paper are found throughout the museum and cafe so you can relax, sit and draw. If you have time you can try one of the workshops and family activities on offer. Check the website for more details.

cumberland pencil museum activities

The pencil factory also had a very important but highly secret role during World War II. Special maps were rolled tightly and hidden inside pencils. They were given to airmen so that if they were shot down over enemy territory the airmen had a map to help them avoid capture.

cumberland pencil museum WWII

How to hide a map in a pencil


Getting There The Cumberland Pencil Museum, Southey Works, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5NG
car park at museum – parking charge – partial refund when visiting museum
Google see map or get directions

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