Sunday, December 6, 2009
This weekend my mum and brother travelled up to Cumbria for a couple of days. We were staying with Sheila's mum so it was good to have us all together for a change.
Mum and Les were both walking pretty badly so we decided to go to Brantwood on the eastern bank of Coniston water. This is the former home of John Ruskin. I've had it on my mind to visit this house for quite a few years but because we are usually out walking i hadn't had the chance to go there. Brant is the Norse term for Steep, hence steep wood.
Ruskin bought the house in 1871 and lived there until he died in 1900.
We had a good drive there. Going over Birker fell and then up Kiln bank into Broughton Mills. Over Broughton Moor to Torver and then into Coniston. We never met one single car all the way. How unusual was that. Coniston village was like a ghost town.
Brantwood was very quiet. Mainly staff cars in the car park. We had the house to ourselves. Its a fabulous house, especially the views from the dining room and the turret bedroom. Views across to the Old Man of Coniston and north to Wetherlam and Swirl How. There was a covering of snow on the tops and the mountains stood out well against the clear blue sky.
The furniture was a big favourite with our crew, especially in the study and dining room. However i am not sure if this is original or not. After Ruskins death the house was left to the Severn family. They went against Ruskins will and sold off most of the fine art work and then later auctioned off the remainder of the contents.
What a brain and social conscience Ruskin had. Its a pity our politicians don't take a lead from his book.
He instigated so much its amazing just how he managed to find the time to do everything. It puts modern man to shame.
We couldn't take any photo's inside the house so have a look at the Brantwood website for more info.