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Our Story

A proud heritage


With a proud heritage dating back to 1832, we have been creating pencils in the Lake District, UK, since 1916. With over 150 years of know-how packed into every pencil and art tool, our creative and scientific minds never cease in their quest for new ideas. Obsessing over the highest quality of materials and forever creating an ever evolving and exceptional range to meet the requirements of every artist. We will keep pushing our boundaries so that artists can keep pushing theirs.

1500s graphite found in Borrowdale, Lake District

1795 Conté, Paris produces artificial graphite.

1832 pencils produced in Keswick

1916 Cumberland Pencil Co.; 1932 1st colour pencil

1942 secret map & compass pencil

1960s non-toxic pigments adopted

2001 Pencil Museum 26ft giant pencil

2002 Queen's Award for Enterprise

2008 new factory opened by The Queen

2016 'Made in Britain' marque