Legend has it that in the early 1500s, a violent storm in the Borrowdale area of Cumberland led to trees being uprooted and the discovery of a strange black material underneath. This material turned out to be graphite, and shepherds began using it to mark their sheep, and the roots of the pencil industry were formed.
Years later, in 1832, the United Kingdom’s first pencil factory was founded. In 1916, the factory was purchased by the Cumberland Pencil Company and in 1938, the Derwent brand of fine art pencils were introduced to artists around the world.
Today, Derwent’s Coloursoft and Graphitint pencils offer artists a high-quality alternative to the low-quality color pencils that have flooded the market and their Onyx pencils give artists a pure black pencil that is difficult to find in other brands. All of Derwent’s products represent the innovation and heritage that have made Derwent the UK’s premiere pencil manufacturer.
Shop our selection of Derwent products and become a part of the history of the pencil industry and the centuries of refinement that have gone into making the pencil the creative tool that it is today.