Nestled in the heart of the Lake District, Brantwood, Coniston, England, is a historic house that was once the home of John Ruskin, a prominent Victorian writer, artist, and social thinker. Today, it serves as a museum, showcasing Ruskin’s life and works, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens that offer stunning views of Coniston Water and the surrounding fells. With its rich history, art collection, and cultural significance, Brantwood is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting the Lake District.
History of Brantwood
Brantwood was the home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900. Ruskin was a leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, philosopher, and prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany, and political economy. His writings combined enormous sensitivity and human compassion with a burning zeal for moral value.
After Ruskin’s death, Brantwood was preserved by the Severn family, who were close friends of Ruskin. In 1951, it was opened to the public as a museum dedicated to Ruskin’s life and works.
Attractions at Brantwood
Brantwood offers a wealth of attractions for visitors. These include:
- The historic house itself, which contains many of Ruskin’s personal belongings, his art collection, and his original furniture.
- The museum, which offers a fascinating insight into Ruskin’s life and works.
- The gardens, which were designed by Ruskin himself and offer stunning views of Coniston Water and the surrounding fells.
- The Severn Studio, which hosts a changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions.
Brantwood is open to the public all year round, with guided tours available for those who want to delve deeper into the life and works of John Ruskin. Admission charges apply, with discounts available for children, students, and seniors. The site also includes a shop selling Ruskin-related books and gifts, and a tearoom offering delicious homemade food.
Tips for Tourists
Here are some tips for tourists planning to visit Brantwood:
- Allow plenty of time for your visit. There is much to see and do at Brantwood, and you won’t want to rush your experience.
- Don’t miss the gardens. They are a highlight of any visit to Brantwood, offering stunning views and a peaceful place to relax.
- Take advantage of the guided tours. They offer a wealth of information about Ruskin’s life and works, and are well worth the extra cost.
- Visit the tearoom. It’s the perfect place to refuel after exploring the house and gardens.
Brantwood is located on the eastern shore of Coniston Water, in the Lake District National Park. It is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available on site. Alternatively, you can reach Brantwood by taking a scenic boat trip across Coniston Water from Coniston village.
Whether you’re a fan of John Ruskin, a lover of history, or simply looking for a beautiful and peaceful place to visit in the Lake District, Brantwood is a must-see attraction. With its rich history, stunning gardens, and fascinating museum, it offers a unique and rewarding experience for all visitors.