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placename:- Royal Oak
locality:- Keswick
parish Keswick parish, once in Cumberland
county:- Cumbria
inn
coordinates:- NY26712341
10Km square:- NY22

1Km square NY2623

The Royal Oak is now converted to various shops and offices. A set of stained glass windows, once in a dining room, now decorate a Job Centre. We are grateful to the helpful staff who let me take these pictures:-
photograph

Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Peel. -- 8.2.2008
photograph

Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Peel. -- 8.2.2008

old advertisement:- Jenkinson 1875 B

Guide book, Jenkinson's Smaller Practical Guide to Carlisle, Gilsland, Roman Wall and Neighbourhood, by Henry Irwin Jenkinson, published by Edward Stanford, 55 Charing Cross, London, 1875 edn 1884?
thumbnail JK1210, button to large image
Advertisements for Edward Bowden, The Royal Oak Hotel, Keswick, Cumberland, ... published by Edward Stanford, 55 Charing Cross, London, 1875 edn 1884?
Adverts p.16 at the back of Jenkinson's Smaller Practical Guide to Carlisle, Gilsland, Roman Wall and Neighbourhood.

placename:- Royal Oak Hotel, The
person:- innkeeper : Bowden, Edward
date:- 1884
period:- 19th century, late; 1880s

source:- Martineau 1855

Guide book, A Complete Guide to the English Lakes, by Harriet Martineau, published by John Garnett, Windermere, Westmorland, and by Whittaker and Co, London, 1855; published 1855-71.
Page 73:-
The inns of Keswick are numerous. The chief are the Royal Oak, the Queen's Head, and the King's Arms,- all good.
date:- 1855
period:- 19th century, late; 1850s

descriptive text:- Ford 1839 (3rd edn 1843)

Description of Scenery in the Lake District, by William Ford, published by Charles Thurnham, London, et al, 1839; published 1839-52.
Page 51:-
...
[Keswick] ... The chief inns are the Royal Oak and Queen's Head; but there are several smaller inns, where parties may be accommodated, besides many neatly-furnished private lodgings. ...
Page 166:-
[Keswick] ... all the accommodations for visitors are good. ... inns, Royal Oak and Queen's Head.

placename:- Royal Oak
date:- 1839
period:- 19th century, early; 1830s

descriptive text:- Otley 1823 (5th edn 1834)

Guidebook, Concise Description of the English Lakes, later A Description of the English Lakes, by Jonathan Otley, published by the author, Keswick, Cumberland, by J Richardson, London, and by Arthur Foster, Kirky Lonsdale, Cumbria, 1823 onwards.
image OT01P117, button   goto source.
Page 117:-
Keswick ... The principal inns are the Royal Oak and Queen's Head; ...
... Post chaises, ponies, and jaunting cars may be had at the inns, with experienced guides for excursions by land; and neat pleasure-boats with intelligent boatmen for the water.
date:- 1823
period:- 19th century, early; 1820s

road book:- Cary 1798 (2nd edn 1802)

Road book, Cary's New Itinerary, by John Cary, published by G and J Cary, 86 St James's Street, London, 1798-1828.
thumbnail C38317, button to large image
page 317-318
INNS. ... Keswick, Queen's Head, Royal Oak. ...
thumbnail C38735, button to large image
page 735-736
INNS. ... Keswick, Queen's Head, Royal Oak.

placename:- Royal Oak
date:- 1802
period:- 19th century, early; 1800s

old advertisement:- Linton 1852

Guide book, A Handbook of the Whitehaven and Furness Railway, guide to the Lake District etc, by John Linton, published by Whittaker and Co, London, etc, 1852.
thumbnail LN1A02, button to large image
Advertisement, for ... I Teather, Royal Oak Hotel, Keswick, ... published by Whittaker and Co, London, and by R Gibson and Son and by Callander and Dixon, Whitehaven, Cumberland, 1852.
Advertisments p.2 in A Handbook of the Whitehaven and Furness Railway, by John Linton.

placename:- Royal Oak Hotel
person:- innkeeper : Teather, I
date:- 1852
period:- 19th century, late

old advertisement:- Heywood 1906

Guide to Keswick and its Vicinity, in the Penny Guide Books series, published by Abel Heywood and Son, 56-58 Oldham Street, Manchester, and by Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co, Ave Maria Lane, Paternoster Row, London, 1906.
thumbnail HW1A09, button to large image
Advertisement, for D N Pape, Royal Oak Hotel, Keswick, Cumberland, published by Abel Heywood and Son, 56-58 Oldham Street, Manchester, and by Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent and Co, Ave Maria Lane, Paternoster Row, London, 1906.
In a Guide to Keswick and its Vicinity in the Penny Guide Books series.

placename:- Royal Oak Hotel
person:- innkeeper : Pape, D N
date:- 1906
period:- 1900s

database:- Listed Buildings 2010

Listed Buildings 2010

courtesy of English Heritage
ROYAL OAK HOTEL / / STATION STREET / KESWICK / ALLERDALE / CUMBRIA / II / 71802 / NY2669523416
courtesy of English Heritage
Late C18 and 1909. 3 storeys, the ground floor of scored stucco, pebbledashed above. Main Street front has 2 shouldered-arched entrances with Gibbs surrounds, 7 windows without glazing bars, bands. Station Street front of older part has 2 stair windows, otherwise 3 windows each floor. Extension to right (east) dated 1909-10, also 3 storeys, with slate ground floor, dated over doorway and on rainwater-heads; gables, 4 canted oriels, stone doorway with large round hood, 12 windows including wing at right angles on east end, mostly 4-light casements with wood mullions and transoms, and some original ornamental glazing. This was the main coaching inn of Keswick, and the meeting place for poets. Sir Walter Scott wrote part of "Bridal of Triermain" here. Lord Tennyson and R L Stevenson visited, also John Peel. Interior has cornices.

placename:- Royal Oak Hotel
district:- Allerdale
listed building
coordinates:- NY26692341
date:- 2010
period:- 2010s

descriptive text:- Gents Mag (1751)

The Gentleman's Magazine or Monthly Intelligencer, published by Edward Cave under the pseudonym Sylvanus Urban, and by other publishers, London, monthly from 1731 to 1914.
... we agreed to meet the next morning at the Royal Oak in Keswick, a market town, on the south side of Skiddow. ...

placename:- Royal Oak
date:- 1751
period:- 18th century, late; 1750s

photographs
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Peel. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Peel. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- Robert Southey. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- Robert Southey. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Ruskin. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- John Ruskin. -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- William Wordsworth -- 8.2.2008
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria / -- William Wordsworth -- 8.2.2008

photographs
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria /
tiny photograph, 
button to large Royal Oak -- Keswick -- Keswick -- Cumbria /

hearsay Royal Oak Hotel, Keswick
The dining room of the old Royal Oak Hotel, Keswick is now the Keswick Jobcentre Plus. It was known as the
The Lake Poets' Dining Room.
The windows of this room have stained glass representing the Lakeland poets and the huntsman John Peel, who were all said to have been visitors to the hotel. The windows were not in the original hotel, but were installed in the rebuilding after a fire, February 1929.
Each window has an inscription:-
John Peel
For Peel's 'view Holla!' Wad waken the dead, or a fox frae his lair in the mwornin
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
He prayeth best. Who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
Robert Southey
One small spot where my tired mind May rest and call it Home.
John Ruskin
The first thing I remember as an event in life was bening taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar's Crag, on Derwent water.
Williamm Wordsworth
From Nature and her over Howing soul, He had received so much that all his thoughts Were steeped in feeling.
Hartley Coleridge
O blessed vision! Happy child! Thou art so exquisitely wild I think of thee with many fears For what may be they lot in future years.
Thomas de Quincey
A perfect woman, nobly plann'd to warn, to cmfort and command, And yet a spirit still and bright with something of an angel light.
The quotations are taken from the windows and may not be true to the actual poems.
On the outside wall of the Jobcentre is a plaque:-
The Royal Oak Hotel
This ancient hostelry, formerly the Oak Inn, has been from the days of Queen Elizabeth the centre of the commercial activities and social life of Keswick. The headquarters in the 18th Century of a thriving pack horse trade, this inn became, subsequently, no less renown, as a posting establishment and halting place for stage coaches. No less celebrated are the literary associations of this house. For it was frequented by Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor and Hartley Coleridge, the Wordsworths, Shelley, Thomas de Quincey, Christopher North and other lakeland poets and writers. Here Sir Walter Scott wrote part of his 'Bridal of Triermain', and here too Lord Tenyson and Robert Louis Stevenson were visitors, while the 'Skiddaw Hermit' and John Peel of Hunting Fame, were frequently to be seen within its walls.
An extract from:-
The Story of The Royal Oak Hotel at Keswick
by George D. Abraham
The Haunt of the Lakeland Poets
... Then came the epoch of changing owners and landlords at the ROYAL OAK and the great days of the Lake Poets, which began with Southey~s arrival at Greta Hall in 1803. The Coleridges shared Greta Hall with him for a time and with the Wordsworths and de Quincey as Grasmere there were frequent gatherings in Keswick Vale. Yet the King~s Laureate mostly lived a quiet life, and we can easily picture the quaint figure ambling up the grey and white cottage-line street in his wad-polished clogs to hear the latest news at the Royal Oak. In later years Hartley Coleridge would often travel over the Raise and awake the echoes of the old bar with song and story. 'Lile Hartley,' as he was affectionately called, was the poet-hero of the dalesmen. He could rhyme by the hour together, and as a final call would have his 'drinks settled' for him by reciting his much acclaimed ditty, 'The Tortoiseshell Cat.'
Another notable character and an artistic one withal, was the Skiddaw Hermit, who came bare-footed from his mountain dwelling for a 'crack and a sup' in 't' auld ingle neuk.' Now and again the famous Northern Nimrod, John Peel, on his favourite mare, 'Binsey,' would come clattering through the main street on his homeward way. Peel loved his hounds devoutly, and should one get lost he would think nothing of spending days and nights on the mountains until recovery was made, and so back to Caldbeck. ...

Old Cumbria Gazetteer - JandMN: 2013

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