Brantwood House, Coniston, Cumbria

John Ruskin and Brantwood

Portrait of John Ruskin

Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water, was the home of John Ruskin, one of the greatest figures of the Victorian age. Ruskin was a poet, an artist, a critic, a social revolutionary and a conservationist.

After many visits to the Lake District from the age of five onward, Ruskin’s affection for the Lakes was such that in 1871, when he was 52, he bought Brantwood.

He then set about expanding and renovating the house. He first added the famous turret, on the south west corner. From here he could gaze out over spectacular views north, south and west.

Brantwood has been owned since 1951 by the Brantwood Trust whose policy is to keep alive the memory of John Ruskin, and to actively promote the relevance of his work. The house contains a large collection of drawings and watercolours by Ruskin, and much of his furniture and his fabulous collection of minerals now returned to the house, is on display in the public rooms and is well worth a visit.

The gardens are wonderful, extending down to the water and above the house as well. Ruskin was involved in the original planning of the gardens which have now been restored and house a collection of ferns as well as spectacular azaleas and Rhododendrons.

The views from the house of Lake Coniston are amazing. We will be visiting Brantwood House and Gardens on several of our guided tours to Cumbria.

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