John Ruskin’s Brantwood
Brantwood, the historic home of John Ruskin sits along the eastern shore of Coniston Water with spectacular views across the lake towards Coniston Old Man. Ruskin lived at Brantwood from 1871 until his death in 1900. A tour of the house, the surrounding gardens and woodland estate offers a fascinating insight into Ruskin the poet, social reformer, artist and early conservationist who influenced many including Mahatma Gandhi, Proust and Tolstoy. An on-site book shop sells the full range of Ruskin’s work and there are numerous beautiful walks which branch out from the property.
Enjoy year round events, activities, special exhibitions and talks by guest speakers plus concerts and family trails. This superb historic attraction is also available to hire as a wedding venue or for corporate events, with the spectacular backdrop of Coniston Water and the Furness Fells.
Lakeside Cafe at Brantwood
For fine wholefood and drink at Brantwood call in at the superb Jumping Jenny Coffee House and Restaurant housed within Brantwood’s former stables adjacent to the main house – the cafe affords magnificent views of the lake and Furness Fells.
The setting of John Ruskin’s historic home is truly serene. Brantwood is surrounded by 250 acres of ancient woodland, moors and various themed gardens including herb gardens, a Fern Garden, Moorland Garden, Harbour Walk, and that Zig-Zaggy pathway sketched by Ruskin 130 years ago and representative of Dante’s Purgatorial Mount!
The lakeside house is brimming with watercolours and drawings, original furniture, personal collections and exceptional revolving exhibitions in The Blue Gallery. Coniston Launch boat trips offer a regular service to Brantwood pier if you’re coming from the Coniston village side of the lake.
Discovering Ruskin at Brantwood
The many facets of Ruskin are here to discover at Brantwood including his art, his interests in nature and hints of Ruskin’s influence on political thought particularly the arts and crafts movement, architecture and critiques of capitalism. Brantwood’s Bookshop stocks the full range of John Ruskin’s books from his autobiography ‘Praeterita’ to classics on political thought like ‘Unto This Last’. John Ruskin was a major influence on many famous figures including Oscar Wilde, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tolstoy and Gandhi.
Brantwood House tours open with an introductory video on John Ruskin’s life and work after which visitors are free to tour the rooms of the house. Quizzes and activity sheets for younger visitors to Brantwood are also available and regular events include concerts, talks and family trails around the woodland estate.
Weddings and Events at Brantwood
Brantwood makes a fabulous wedding venue with the spectacular backdrop of Coniston Water and Coniston Old Man. Ruskin’s historic home is also available for conference event hire and visitors can also enjoy a range of visual arts and gardening courses.
The Ruskin Museum in Coniston Village
The Ruskin Museum in Coniston village is essential visiting in conjunction with a visit to Brantwood. The museum contains a Ruskin Collection accumulated by Ruskin’s former secretary W.G.Collingwood and features a famous portrait of Ruskin as well as personal items, letters and examples of Ruskin’s art.
The Ruskin Museum also offers fascinating Ruskin guided walks in the Coniston area and visitors keen to explore John Ruskin further can visit the superb Ruskin Library at Lancaster University within easy driving distance of Coniston and the Central Lakes. Ruskin is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew’s church in Coniston.