Cumbria LA21 8DU
The Ruskin Museum is essential viewing for any visitor to Coniston. Find out why the scenery is so spectacular, what makes the local Herdwick sheep unique, how to make Ruskin Lace or learn about the dangers of being a copper miner in the 19th century with a virtual look inside the ancient copper mines.
John Ruskin, Donald Campbell & Arthur Ransome Displays
There are special displays on all Coniston’s famous residents and visitors such as John Ruskin, Donald Campbell and Arthur Ransome. Ransome’s rowing boat ‘Mavis’ (renamed Amazon in his books) is on display.
Donald Campbell’s light blue overalls, the canvas inner lining and his silver crash helmet along with many photos taken at the time of his record attempts make a fascinating display. Bluebird’s K7's Orpheus Engine is now displaying at the museum and other relics are due to be put on display. Check the museum website for more information.
The Ruskin Gallery holds personal objects of the great man such as his bible and a letter written by him as a 9 year old boy. Examples of his paintings and drawings hang on the walls.
Local Skills on Display
Every inch of the museum displays a local skill of some description. The museum floor is made of local slate, and the gutters and downpipes are made of copper. Outside in the grounds is a local builder’s model village. John Usher’s hobby was to build miniature houses constructed in traditional materials; some are imaginary buildings and others are replicas of local landmarks like Bridge House at Ambleside Town.
Another outdoor exhibit is a specially constructed dry-stone wall complete with narrow stiles and rabbit traps. The small gate is topped with a forged shepherd’s crook and ram’s head sculpture. Even the museum sign is a relic from the now closed Coniston Railway.
It is a joy to find such an interesting heritage museum in a remote Lakes village. It is equipped with the latest in technology and hands-on material to keep young visitors amused.
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The Museum conducts assorted guided walks around Coniston Village and the surrounding area. Prices include admission to the Museum. Check their website for details.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1539 441 164
Google Map - Ruskin Museum