Keswick Museum & Art Gallery

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Purpose built in 1897, Keswick Museum & Art Gallery was founded by the local Literary and Scientific Society. After an initial collection of random and local finds, the museum soon started acquiring important literary collections, entomological collections and various artefacts of local significance. The museum houses a good archaeological collection of local pre-historic stones and axes, including examples from the Langdale Axe Factory sites, and the Medieval ceramic collection from key local sites such as Lords Island, seat of the Earls of Derwentwater.

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The museum is also home to a good industrial history collection. Keswick School of Industrial Arts taught local people the skills to produce high quality hand crafted objects for over 100 years. The school gained national recognition for its work and sold bronze, copper and silver to support costs. The school was founded by Canon Rawnsley, who was the vicar of Crosthwaite Church and a founder of the National Trust, and his wife Edith.

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Inspired by John Ruskin, Canon Rawnsley rejected mass produced objects in favour of true hand crafted pieces of work. The school adopted the motto: “The Loving Eye And Skilful Hand, Shall Work With Joy And Bless The Land.” The school moved to a purpose built site near Greta Bridge in Keswick in 1894 where it continued until its closure in 1984 due to competition from cheaper goods from abroad.

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The Keswick Museum Donations Box (above) proudly sits in the centre of the main exhibition space and was made by Richard Kennedy. The model was hand painted by Mary Kennedy at Ram Workshop in Kirklinton, Carlisle. The beautiful architectural model of the museum is exquisitely detailed.

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A wonderful chair sits in the corner of the main exhibition room which was originally on display in Peter Crostwaite’s Museum, who opened the first museum in Keswick, in the 18th century. The well used chair is adorned with the arms of Sir John Ratcliffe, who was the Earl of Derwentwater, and died in 1527.

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On display on the ground floor is a First World War memorial window (above). The window once adorned the Royal Oak Hotel which was the main pack horse and coaching Inn of the town for almost 300 years. The window was made by Abbott Brothers of Lancashire and is thought likely to have been erected in 1929. The memorial was dedicated: “In honour of the patrons of this hotel, who made the supreme sacrifice.”

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The beautiful window has the dates 1914 and 1918 on the outer panels and has a central inscription which reads: “The shrine of honour. Who goes there? I have no name. I died for my country. Pass unknown warrior.” A plaque on the stairway (below) between the ground and first floor is inscribed with the names of local people who lost their lives in the Great War.

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Pontinscale: Nichol End Marine

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Within the Lake District National Park is the quaint village of Pontinscale. Deriving from the Old English “portcwene” (harlot), the harlot’s hut village is under two miles from Keswick.

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The historic Nichol End Marine is located right on the edge of Derwentwater and is a family run business. There are seven lakeside marinas around Derwentwater all offering spectacular views of the surrounding fells.

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Nichol End Marine are licensed by the AALA and offer permanent moorings, holiday moorings, a chandlery, rigging service, engine and boat repair workshop.

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The various activities offered at the marine include raft building, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking and canoeing.

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The Keswick Launch Company operates cruises on the lake shore of Derwentwater starting from the Keswick boat landings and cruises around the lake stopping at seven lakeshore jetties where you may embark or join the various boats.

 

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The Dandelion Cafe & Formal Garden

Although there are catering facilities at the marine, The Dandelion Cafe (above and within walking distance) stands on an elevated site above Derwentwater and offers the delights of a formal garden and breath-taking views of the scenery.

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Nichol End Marine is open 364 days of the year and is a wonderful spot from which to enjoy the Lake District National Park.

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Madingley Hall: Murals Room

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Madingley estate was acquired by Sir John Hynde, the fourth Baronet, in 1543. He began to build a new hall in the same year which he surrounded with a hunting park. The oldest parts of this brick built manor house are the south and east ranges.

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The Murals Room is accessed from the polygonal turret stair at the south east corner of the building. The staircase is oak with solid block treads and the room may have been used as a withdrawing room by the Hynde family who owned the Hall for many generations.

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The upper rooms at the south end of the main range contain many original features with some panelling dated to the construction of the building.

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The Murals Room has original, perhaps re-used, roof timbers which are of false hammerbeam construction with stoutly moulded beams.

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A welcome addition to the university buildings of Cambridge, Madingley Hall was acquired in 1948 and converted for the use of the Extra-Mural Board, research students and visiting scholars.

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The wall paintings were discovered in 1906 under layers of tapestry by Colonel Harding, owner of the Hall at that time. It is thought that the murals were commissioned between 1605-1633 for Sir Edward Hynde, who was a great hunting enthusiast, and it’s likely that the scenes show activities in the park at Madingley.

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The murals depict scenes of hunting, hawking and bear-baiting. As a means of procuring food and as a sport, hunting was the mark of gentility. The bear hunt below features hunters on horseback and servants on foot with mastiffs and greyhounds. Madingley Hall may have been a hunting lodge before it became a permanent home. Bear baiting remained a popular past time in Britain until the 19th century.

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The murals underwent restoration in 1960 and this wonderful room is a hidden gem, only open by prior arrangement.

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Penrith: Black Angel Memorial

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On elevated ground over-looking Penrith Castle stands the war memorial known locally as The Black Angel. The monument was originally unveiled in 1906 in Corney Square and is dedicated to the men from Penrith who died during the Boer War in South Africa (1899−1902).

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The monument was moved to its current position in Castle Park in 1964 due to concerns from pollution damage. The central panel lists the names of those who lost their lives and is surmounted by a winged angel holding a wreath. The name, The Black Angel, also refers to the book of the same name by Colin Bardgett. The book details the stories and letters written by men of the Penrith Volunteer Company who fought during the Boer War. Not only is the book a military record, it contains a Roll of Honour and valuable information relating to local history. The Black Angel, both book and monument, are a memorial to the Volunteer Companies of Cumberland and Westmorland.

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With little camera exposure (below), the monument lives up to its name by taking the physical appearance of The Black Angel.

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Sedbergh: Frostrow Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

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Located along the A684 near to Sedbergh is Frostrow Wesleyan Methodist Chapel. Constructed of coursed rubble and sandstone, the Chapel was built in 1886 to serve the spiritual needs of the local population. Wesleyan chapels were built in honour of John Wesley, a Christian Church of England priest who founded the Methodist Movement.

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Frostrow Chapel features an entrance porch with arch and central keystone above the doorway, nave with west bellcote and simple fenestration. The outer walls of the nave are now finished in pebble dash. A plaque above the doorway indicates that the Chapel is Wesleyan and bears the date of construction.

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Kedleston Hall: Memoria Corona

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As part of the In Place exhibition held at Kedleston Hall was Memoria Corona. Occupying the centre of the magnificent Marble Hall, the crown resonated with the presence of the British Crown in India over the last two hundred years. Modelled on Elizabeth II’s crown, it is topped with a Kohinoor diamond which was lost by India to the British during the Raj. Made from Ivory duco paint on fibre reinforced plastic, Memoria Corona is the work of the Indian visual artist Reena Saini Kallat. As part of the Frank Cohen collection, the work is a memorial to the Indians who fell during the fight for independence and the surface is covered with their names.

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Lanercost Priory Church: Lanercost Cross

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Standing in the now blocked doorway at the west end of the aisle in Lanercost Priory church is the shaft of the Lanercost Cross. Originally standing outside the church, the carved cross shaft contains a central inscription dated to 1214. Although the cross has suffered much damage, the full text was recorded by the English nobleman Lord William Howard in 1607. Part of the inscription was hacked off so that the burial of two year old Robert could be recorded on 20th July 1657 (top). The full inscription was:

“In the 1214th year from the Incarnation, and the seventh year of the Interdict, Innocent III holding the apostle see, Otto being emperor in Germany, Philip reigning in France, John in England, William in Scotland, this cross was made.”

The cross has been in its current position since 1888.

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