Crystal Glassware

Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut English crystal in the United Kingdom. Using only traditional glassmaking processes, the team of highly skilled artisans produce stunning crystal pieces, using techniques and processes that have hardly changed since the Roman era.

Cumbria Crystal specializes in working with 24% lead crystal, which boasts an increased refractive index, promoting brilliant sparkle in the cut, and whose weight is lovely to feel when you hold it in your hand.  Every aspect of the creative process is done by hand.  All the crystal is completely mouth-blown by the team of five glass blowers and hand-cut on diamond wheels.  The cutting process requires intense concentration and skill.  A typical wine goblet takes 10 to 12 days to create and passes through 12 pairs of skilled hands in the process.

Cumbria Crystal was founded in 1976 by Lord and Lady Cavendish of Holker Hall after a dinner party during which the conversation revolved around the subject of the decline of the British glassmaking heritage.  Determined to preserve this traditional British Craft, Lord and Lady Cavendish established Cumbria Crystal with a small group of local business people to produce exceptional handmade full lead crystal tableware.

The artisan workforce was initially recruited from Stourbridge, historically the heart of the English crystal industry, and a team of craftspeople re-located to Ulverston at the southern edge of the English Lake District.  The factory now employs 21 people.

“It’s about never being able to say “That’s it, I’m a complete glassmaker”, because there is always something else to learn….”

The exceptional quality of Cumbria Crystal has made it the crystal of choice for British Embassies, many royal families, and TV and film sets, including Downton Abbey, James Bond and the recent Oscar winning film, The Darkest Hour.

Wright & Smith are very pleased to be able to share a selection of stunning pieces from Cumbria Crystal, particularly as the company moves forward to preserve and explore their ancient art in the twenty-first century. The traditional and iconic Grasmere collection is here as well as some new contemporary collections, including Boogie Woogie, developed by award-winning designer Peter Ting.