Thursday, 26 May 2011

Brantwood


This is the view through a window at Brantwood on Coniston, the former home of the eminent Victorian, John Ruskin (1819-1900).  A very talented man, he was an artist, writer, philosopher, critic, social reformer, conservationist - a hugely inspirational thinker.  (His writings had a profound influence on many, including Mahatma Gandhi.)  He lived at Brantwood from 1872 until his death in 1900.  Described as a powerhouse of ideas, this is where he did most of his writing and entertaining in his later years and from where his ideas spread to influence art, economics and social thinking in England and internationally.  (Think what he'd have done with the internet!)

It is in many ways a modest house, though attractive and interesting, full of treasures and lovely watercolours by Ruskin himself, JMW Turner and others.  It sits on the hillside above Coniston Water, giving amazing views across the lake and mountains.  The gardens are a delight.  Ruskin himself oversaw their development, using his land to explore a variety of gardening experiments and engineering projects (including a small harbour on the lakeside)  .  When I visited, the whole place was alive with vibrantly coloured azaleas and the woods full of bluebells.  I wandered around the gardens in a blissed-out state for over two hours!  If you ever visit the Lakes, then Brantwood is well worth seeing.

15 comments:

  1. What a view! And, how neatly captured.

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  2. I've visited Brantwood on a couple of occasions and it's a lovely place; definitely worth a detour to visit.

    Aactually,as the Steam Gondola stops at the landing stage there you can also make it part of a trip on Coniston Water itself.

    Do they still have the cafe in the stables??

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  3. Beautiful. I remember catching site of the house whilst enjoying a steamer trip on the lake a couple of years ago.

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  4. A nice place to retire. No wonder artists flocked there it is so restful but stimulating too. Great views.

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  5. How beautiful! And to wander among the azaleas and bluebells...sigh. Thanks for telling us about this place, Jenny!

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  6. Sacristan - yes, lovely café in the stables and a nice craft shop too. Good bookshop in the house itself as well. I bought myself a copy of Swallows and Amazons, as it seemed appropriate. I've long lost my original.

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  7. Jenny, in response to your alfalfa quesion, it's high protein and used to feed cattle. Actually, the flowers in my photo show that the alfalfa wasn't cut as soon as it should have been, for the peak protein is just as the plant is going to flower, not after it has flowered. Then again, we rent the land and have no control over when they cut the alfalfa. :-) I think they usually get 3 (and sometimes 4) crops of alfalfa off that field in a season.

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  8. It sounds like a place I would like to visit.

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  9. That view out the window is fabulous!

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  10. That first view is stunning and what an inspiration to creativity over the years! I enjoyed reading about Ruskin and would count him as one of the interesting people who would have been a great dinner guest.

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  11. What a lovely home! I can see why you spent 2 hours enjoying it!

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  12. Jenny, your shot through the window is outstanding.

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  13. An inspiring view indeed! And the manor home is equally impressive perched above the water, what a wonderful place to absorb all that inspiration. ~Lili

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  14. Genie: My thoughts exactly. Inspirational post Jenny!

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  15. I know it is a fab view as it looks across at my house!

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