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Braithwaite Court

Cumbria, England

John Ruskin's Brantwood House in Coniston

Posted by Luci Ackers on Apr 02, 2015
John Ruskin's Brantwood House in Coniston
John Ruskin's Brantwood House in Coniston

Coniston is perhaps best known for 'The Old Man of Coniston', one of the better known fells in the Lake District and very popular with walkers. Just down the road, however, is an equally interesting attraction – Brantwood. Brantwood was home to John Ruskin, one of the great figures of the Victorian age; a poet, artist, critic, philosopher and social thinker. He visited the Lake District when he was young, and was hugely influenced by the beauty of the area and the natural world in general; many of his works reflect his passion and in 1871 he purchased Brantwood House where it sits overlooking Coniston Water and backed by woodland.

Ruskin was to retire at Brantwood and spent time renovating the house, adding a turret, additional rooms and an extra storey over the years. He filled it with his art collections from his many travels and the house is now considered a museum and unique insight into the life of this famous man. Brantwood is open to visitors and displays a wealth of interesting treasures, fine paintings, furniture and Ruskin's personal belongings throughout each of the rooms. Displays, activities and exhibitions are continually part of the visitor experience, some permanent and some changing. Take a look at what's on here.

Brantwood is surrounded by mountainside gardens designed by Ruskin himself, set within 250 acres of wooded estate. The estate ranges from sparkling streams and lakeshore meadows to steep woodland and high, open fell. Eight separate and unique gardens exemplify Ruskin's interest in land management and are each an interesting discovery.

The site is now owned by the Brantwood Trust, which is part of the foundation set up to remember John Ruskin and his work. A great way to visit the site is to take the National Trust's Steam Yacht Gondola from Coniston Pier. This rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht will give you a fantastic view of the lake and its surroundings as it sails you straight to Brantwood. A ticket includes entrance to the house as well as the return journey from Coniston Pier. Alternatively you can make your own way to Brantwood and buy tickets when you arrive. Why not grab a bite to eat before you head inside at the former stables turned restaurant 'Jumping Jenny', named after Ruskin's boat. 

Stay in the Lake District yourself and discover all these amazing attractions from our beautiful Lake District property. Find out how by following the link below.

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Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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