windermere panoramic
Brantwood House & GardenWindermere
Cumbria LA21 8AD
Perched on the hillside overlooking Coniston Water is a huge, rambling house, the former home of artist, writer, art patron and social critic, John Ruskin.
Ruskin certainly knew what he was doing when he purchased the house, sight unseen, from wood engraver and social reformer William Linton, in 1871. It has the most magnificent views of the lake and surrounding fells.
Before moving in, Ruskin arranged for repairs to the house, the addition of a turret, the building of a lodge for his valet and his family, and for improvements to the garden.
On taking up residence, Ruskin filled the house with art, including paintings by Gainsborough, Turner (whom he had championed) and the Pre-Raphaelites. There were also large collections of minerals, pottery and sea shells.
The artist Arthur Severn was married to Ruskin’s cousin, Joan Agnew. Ruskin invited them and their growing family to move in with him and share Brantwood. This influx of people necessitated more extensions.
In 1878 a new dining room was built at the south end of the house. A second storey was added around 1890 to provide additional rooms for the Severn family and a studio was built at the rear of the house for the use of Arthur Severn. During this time the estate was also extended.
The steep woodland garden was used by Ruskin to experiment with various forms of cultivation and drainage and it contains a series of steep and winding paths. After his death a number of shrubs and specimen trees were planted. The estate now covers around 250 acres (1.0 km2) and includes lake shore, pasture, oak woods and moorland.
Brantwood is owned by a charitable trust dedicated to continuing the work of John Ruskin who held teaching seminars on a variety of subjects such as Art, Literature and Sociology. The trust continues this tradition running regular courses in all aspects of The Arts, including lace-making and other crafts - children are particularly catered for. Events range from contemporary exhibitions to open air theatre and concerts The Craft Gallery sells works by local artists.
The House
After Ruskin’s death in 1900 the property was left to the Severn Family. Under the terms of the will they were supposed to open the house to the public so that the nation could see the fabulous art collection.
Not only did they not comply with the terms of the will but they also sold off the collection. However, there are still plenty of Ruskin’s paintings, furniture, objects d'art and personal memorabilia to be seen in a number of rooms open to the public. We would recommend watching the short video presentation on this remarkable man’s life before touring the rooms on display.
The drawing room includes his secretaire, bookcase and shell-cabinet and the wallpaper is a copy of Ruskin’s own design. In this room is his drawing of the porch of St Mark’s, Venice.
You can see the study where he worked and the 1878 dining room with its magnificent views over the lake to ‘Old Man of Coniston’ mountain. In this room is a portrait of Ruskin as a 3 year old. The old dining room contains some of Ruskin’s early drawings. Upstairs is the turret room which was his bedroom.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through here:
Opening Hours and Admission
Brantwood is open all year. For details go to  Web:  Brantwood/ Visiting
Disabled Access
Brantwood has a number of services and facilities available for disabled visitors Toilets. The lower gardens are accessible to wheelchair users. For details of the services and facilities available go to Web: Brantwood/ Disabled Access
Brantwood Cafe
Bookshop, Coach House Gallery, Toilets.
Guided Walks
Brantwood has an extensive estate and guided walks are available Easter to October three days a week.
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0) 1539 441 396
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Getting There
There are excellent directions for getting to Brantwood on their website at Web: Brantwood/ Visiting
Google Maps - Brantwood House & Garden

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