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24 September 2014

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Brantwood- The home of John Ruskin
On the shores of Coniston Water, in the shadow of The Old Man, is Brantwood the home of John Ruskin.

The Big Draw
This event, is led by the Guild of St George, the charity founded by John Ruskin in 1871.

The official site for the house

National Trust
(Owners and operators of Gondola)

Coniston Launch
Operators of motor launches on Coniston

The Ruskin Programme at Lancaster University, UK

The Ruskin Library at Lancaster University, UK

Abbot Hall in Kendal

Coniston Community Website

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.

Brantwood facts
Brantwood was purchased by John Ruskin in 1871.

He paid £1,500 for it, unseen.

Ruskin moved to Brantwood on 12th September 1872.

'Brant' is Norse for steep.

Ruskin Facts
John Ruskin was born in London in 1819.

He was the son of a sherry merchant and a Croydon inn keeper's daughter.

'Modern Painters' was his first major work begun in 1843 as a defence of Turner.

This work spans 5 volumes and took 17 years.

Ruskin was responsible for burning all the erotic pictures by Turner.

Gossip has it that he had a wedding-night shock when he discovered that his wife, Effie Grey, had pubic hair - the marriage was never consummated!

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The house is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery of the Lake District and set within 250 acres of woodland.

Take the 360 tour >>

Brantwood was the home for John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900.

It became one of the great literary and artistic centres in Europe and is filled with Ruskin's drawings and watercolours and much of the original furniture.

Ruskin is seen by many to have challenged the moral foundations of 19th Century Britain in poetry, art and criticism.

The view from Brantwood
View from Brantwood towards Coniston village and the Yewdale fells

As a keen conservationist, he understood the damage that man was causing to the natural environment. From his study in Brantwood he recorded the climatic impact of pollution and he foresaw what we know as the 'greenhouse effect' almost 100 years before the term was coined.

The Brantwood Estate is currently owned by the Brantwood Trust and includes more than half a mile of lake shore and over 100 acres of broad leaved woodland.

Sally Beamish and her Mum
Sally Beamish, estate manager, and her mum Pat, prune an apple tree in the gardens.

Sally Beamish is the estate manager with the responsibility for looking after the gardens, paths, walks and woodlands of Brantwood.

She has worked there for over 14 years and says that working within a living laboratory and on steep terrain is a daily challenge.
Wherever possible she uses natural solutions to problems and Sam, a former competition driving pony, is her companion on the forest tracks. He hauls loads deep amongst the trees where access, even with 4-wheel vehicles is impossible.

How to get to Brantwood

The view from the pier
The view from the pier towards Brantwood

Getting to Brantwood is easiest by using the ferry services from just outside the village of Coniston. There is ample parking.

Two ferry services are available. The National Trust operate the Steam Yacht Gondola whilst a private company, Coniston Launch operates a 30 seat boat.


Steam Yacht Gondola
The Steam Yacht Gondola was first launched in 1859 and following complete renovation by the Trust, now provides a steam-powered passenger service on Coniston Water. Travelling on 'Gondola' is an experience in its own right and the perfect way to enjoy some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery from the yacht’s opulent interior. It carries 86 passengers.

Until the coming of the railway in 1859, the 5½-mile ribbon of Coniston Water was a remote and little-visited place. One year later, the railway company launched the elegant, 84-foot steam yacht Gondola as an added attraction for tourists and it continued to ply the lake until its retirement in 1936.

The car park
The car park at Brantwood
A car park for around 25 cars is situated a short walk from the house.



By Bus
Stagecoach Cumbria
run the 'Coniston Rambler', an hourly service (505) from Windermere and Ambleside. You should alight at the Waterhead Hotel near Coniston to catch the boats.
Service details can be obtained from Tourist Information Centres or Traveline on 0870 608 2608.

Ruskin Explorer Ticket
This combined ticket includes return bus journey to Coniston, Boat return on the North Lake service, and entry into Brantwood House.

Contact details and address
LA21 8AD
015394 41396

Tell us about your visit and send us your digital photos of Brantwood or other Cumbrian attractions to so we can include them for others to enjoy.

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