windermere panoramic
Old Bridge HouseWindermere
National Trust
Rydal Road
Cumbria LA22 9AY
This unusual, tiny 17th century house is one of the most photographed buildings in the Lake District. Many tourists will recognise it as one of the popular ‘Lilliput Lane’ collectibles.
The little house only has two rooms and is actually built on the bridge and not beside it. So what is its history? Hard to imagine now but it was built in the middle of an apple orchard belonging to Ambleside Hall. It may have been a summerhouse or an apple store but the reason it was built on a bridge over Stock Beck was to evade land tax!
The National Trust now owns this tiny building. It is free for visitors to explore. You may think it is cramped now but imagine what it was like when a family with six children lived in it!
Take a good look at the outside and note the fine roof details, particularly the ridge of interlocking 'wrestler' slates, and the traditional pattern of slate coursing with the smallest tiles nearest the ridge. Notice also the chimney with its slate lid to keep out the snow.
Although it seems pretty tame now, Stock Beck once flowed fast enough to power five mills. The remains of some of these watermills can be seen nearby.
Bridge House forms part of the National Trust’s Windermere & Troutbeck propery which includes the head of the Troutbeck Valley, several sites next to Lake Windermere, and six farms. One of the farms, Troutbeck Park, once belonged to Beatrix Potter and was in fact her largest farm.
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Contact & Further Information
Every day
Getting There
Drive along Rydal Road and park in the car park next to the fire station. Walk back towards Ambleside town centre and Bridge House is on the right hand side.
Google Maps - Old Bridge House

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