The local history collection stretches back to Roman times, and includes such items as the famous 500 year old cat, a penny farthing cycle, and a man trap.
One of the prime exhibits is a set of musical stones (below), variously termed the stone dulcimer, the rock harmonicon or the geological piano. It has travelled to London where performances were given to Queen Victoria.
The Keswick Museum and Art Gallery in Cumbria was founded in 1873 and had a number of temporary homes as it grew, including the Moot Hall in Keswick town centre.
A building was purpose built for it, in Fitz Park, partly as a memorial to the Hewetson brothers; distinguished Keswick benefactors, and to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria.
It remains the only purpose-built museum in the county. The two original galleries were the Main Gallery and the Model Gallery; the latter built especially for Flintoft's famous model.
The building work started in 1897 and the Grand Opening was on Easter Monday, April 11, 1898.
The 'Picture Gallery' was added later, through the energies of Canon Rawnsley, a Museum Trustee and one of the founders of the National Trust.
It opened in July 1906 with its first exhibition held by The Lake Artists Society.
The Museum was handed over to the Borough Council for financial reasons, in April 1994, and the park to the Town Council. Both are kept as charitable trusts on behalf of the local people.
In February 2007, Keswick Museum and Art Gallery Management Limited was formed; a company made up of local people, who now run the Museum on behalf of Allerdale Borough Council, the sole trustee.