Jonathan Otley – His Keswick connections

A simple plaque and a restored flight of steps mark the place, where for many years, Jonathan Otley lived in Keswick.

Jonathan Otley - His Keswick connections

Jonathan Otley - His Keswick connections

Born in 1766 Mr Otley became known as a geologist, map maker, watch mender and meteorologist. He even invented a rain gauge.

He is seen by many to be the father of English geology.

The carved slate plaque positioned high on a wall near to his former residence reads :

Here lived
Jonathan Otley,
1766 – 1856.
Geologist and clockmaker.
A humble student of nature and science, who laboured for his fellows.

Nearby a flight of steps lead to a sealed door which once was the entrance to his accommodation and workshop. He lived and worked here between 1797 and 1853.

Jonathan Otley - His Keswick connections

The steps have recently been restored leading to his former residence

The steps in King’s Head Court, became damaged over the years and in early 2011 the Keswick Civic Society had them repaired

Although he is known as a clockmaker little seems to exist of his work.

Several biographical articles have been written about this important local character, who was dubbed the Father of Lakeland Geology by J E Marr in 1916.

Towards the end of his life he sold off many of his belongings in an auction.  Some however still survive and can be seen in Keswick Museum.

Jonathan died in Keswick in 1856 and is buried in Crosthwaite Churchyard.

Read more

A Concise Description of the English Lakes, and Adjacent Mountains: with General Directions to Tourists

Jonathan Otley recalled while visiting England – Elizabeth Janson

Lore of the Lake Country





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