Blackwell The Arts and Crafts House

(See also Bowness-on-Windermere)

Blackwell-the Arts and Crafts HouseVisitors to the Lake District have a new treat in store with the opening of a restored Arts and Crafts House, Blackwell. Blackwell-the Arts and Crafts House is a grade 1 listed building and one of the most important of England's turn-of-the-20th-century houses.

The house is considered to be an outstanding example of Arts and Crafts architecture and an innovative design for the times, moving away from the heavy Victorian look. Designed by M. H. Baillie Scott, between 1897 and 1900, it overlooks the Lake Windermere area.

Blackwell and Lake WindermereEach space and room are complete in themselves, with light, colour and decorative details melding into a whole picture. The rooms were not designed for show but to be used as a holiday home by the large family (five children) of Sir Edward Holt, a Manchester brewer.

The architect, Scott, believed a house should have soul. In 1906, he wrote, ‘A house may possess that inscrutable quality of the True Blackwell Drawing RoomRomance. Not shallow, showy and pretentious as most modern mansions are, but full of a still, quiet earnestness which seems to lull and soothe the spirit with promises of peace’.

The house left the family's ownership, and, during the 2nd World War was occupied by Huyton College of Liverpool, then became Blackwell School for girls, which closed in 1974.Blackwell Dining RoomAfterwards it served as offices for English Nature. Fortunately, most of the home's treasures managed to survive. In February 1999, the Lake District Art Gallery& Museum purchased Blackwell and restored it.

The house's purpose is to serve as a public gallery for craft and applied arts and draws upon the collections of Abbot Hall (see article on Kendal) to add to the interiors and interpret the arts and crafts of the time. Specific exhibitions at Blackwell will focus on craft and the applied arts and their interdisciplinary aspects. Both historical and contemporary works are included.

Blackwell Stained Glass WindowThe garden terraces and grounds are brought back to their original condition and contribute to a pleasurable outing and interesting museum house.

Blackwell House
1½ miles south of Bowness, just off the Lyth Valley Road (A5074) on the B5360.

Tel. 015394 46139
Open: daily, 10.30am-4pm except April-Oct open till 5pm
Limited wheel chair accessibility.
Open: mid Jan-end Dec, daily, 10.30am-5pm except closing 4pm Nov-March; closed 25/26 Dec.

Note: Please check opening times and dates before visiting in case of changes.

Photos are copyright Blackwell-The Arts and Crafts House. Used by permission.

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