The RUSKIN Museum, The Story of Coniston

Categories: Cumbria
Share Listing Reviews Local
The RUSKIN Museum, The Story of Coniston
Fully Accessible For Wheelchair Users.
Museum Gift Shop
Special Rates For Groups. Special Rates For School Groups. Guided Tours By Prior Arrangement. Learning Resources Downloadable From Website. The Ruskin Museum
Conisto

The Ruskin Museum is one of the best kept secrets in the English Lake District. The "Rough Guide to the Lake District", [all editions], describes it as 'the most thought-provoking in the Lakes' for its masterly introduction to Coniston's heroes - some internationally famous, others locally respected - and its telling of amazing stories that touch the heart and make the imagination soar.

At this museum you will meet Coniston's iconic blue-eyed heroes. First, John Ruskin, the great Victorian polymath and radically subversive pundit on everything from aesthetics to ethics, who, literally, drew most of his ideas from the close scrutiny needed to depict things accurately, and observed the symptoms of climate change and industrial pollution on air, water, land, and people, over 150 years ago. He invented art criticism and turned art history into an academic discipline; he taught people to see the greatness of the then much-maligned artist JMW Turner. He praised Gothic architecture, and almost single-handedly, prevented the imminent destruction of Venice. His drawings and watercolours - of which we hold an internationally important and nationally significant array - are exquisite, his thoughts mind-blowing. Coniston's second hero is Donald Campbell, the legendary Speed Ace of the 1950s and 1960s, who broke four of his unequalled tally of seven World Water Speed Records in his iconic hydroplane, Bluebird K7, here on Coniston Water, where he was killed in action on 4 January 1967 whilst attempting to exceed 300mph on water. His father, Sir Malcolm Campbell, broke a Record here in August 1939, in his Blue Bird K4. Our Bluebird Wing displays an amazing array of memorabilia, including helmets, team overalls, and the prototype Bluebird JetStar ski-boat, and, once the conservation rebuild, to full operative order, of Bluebird K7 has been completed, the incredible, hugely innovative hydroplane will become the star attraction.

Coniston Water may have been the race-track of the Campbells, father and son, but it also provides the fictional adventure playground for Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons." The real Peel Island has a 'Secret Harbour' borrowed for the fictional Wild Cat Island; The Old Man of Coniston plays Kanchenjunga [and the Matterhorn] thereby celebrating the area's place in the history of rock-climbing, and our copper-mines and slate quarries set the scene for Ransome's "Pigeon Post". The dinghy 'Mavis', inspiration of the fictional 'Amazon', is on display There's plenty about the local Herdwick sheep, whose husbandry dates back to the Vikings. There's local geology, and the practical uses to which the local stone is put - dry-stone walls with their hogg-holes and stiles, as well as fit for purpose vernacular buildings.

The Ruskin Museum preserves, protects and promotes Coniston’s collective memory, knowledge and history, for the benefit of local residents and tourists alike. The place-name of Coniston originates from the Old West Norse 'Konungr-tun', the king's manor. If the place-name historians are correct in thinking that Coniston was once the centre of a small Scandinavian mountain Kingdom, then The Ruskin Museum is its treasury.

'Mavis' the sailing dinghy that inspired Arthur Ransome's fictional 'Amazon' in "Swallows and Amazons"

'Mavis' the sailing dinghy that inspired Arthur Ransome's fictional 'Amazon' in "Swallows and Amazons"

Ruskin-inspired Arts & Crafts linen and repouse metal-work, made in Coniston

Ruskin-inspired Arts & Crafts linen and repouse metal-work, made in Coniston

Sunset seen through the smoke of London from Herne Hill, 1876, by John Ruskin

Sunset seen through the smoke of London from Herne Hill, 1876, by John Ruskin

Fixed Cloud on the Old  Man, on the morning of Friday 9th April 1875, by John Ruskin

Fixed Cloud on the Old Man, on the morning of Friday 9th April 1875, by John Ruskin

Detail after Tintoretto's Miracle of St Mark, by John Ruskin

Detail after Tintoretto's Miracle of St Mark, by John Ruskin

Fondaco de Turchi [The Turkish Merchants' House], Venice, by John Ruskin

Fondaco de Turchi [The Turkish Merchants' House], Venice, by John Ruskin

View of the Ruskin gallery

View of the Ruskin gallery

John Ruskin in his Study at Brantwood, dawn, watercolour by W.G..Collingwood

John Ruskin in his Study at Brantwood, dawn, watercolour by W.G..Collingwood

The prototype Bluebird JetStar ski-boat, [Donald Campbell's pension plan]

The prototype Bluebird JetStar ski-boat, [Donald Campbell's pension plan]

Donald Campbell aboard Bluebird JetStar ski-boat, Coniston, 1966

Donald Campbell aboard Bluebird JetStar ski-boat, Coniston, 1966

Donald Campbell's home-made Christmas present for his father, Malcolm, 1929

Donald Campbell's home-made Christmas present for his father, Malcolm, 1929

Mrs Elzabeth Pepper's masterpiece: St Cecilia, c. 1880s

Mrs Elzabeth Pepper's masterpiece: St Cecilia, c. 1880s

Exterior: The Ruskin Museum, Coniston

Exterior: The Ruskin Museum, Coniston

Exterior: The Ruskin Museum

Exterior: The Ruskin Museum

Wooden Tank Test model, for Bluebird K7, 1954

Wooden Tank Test model, for Bluebird K7, 1954

'Piggin', 18th century: a coopered vessel, used for porridge or thick soups [potage].

'Piggin', 18th century: a coopered vessel, used for porridge or thick soups [potage].

Ruskin's Rock Band [lithophone, made from hornefels], made for him by the Till family of Keswick.

Ruskin's Rock Band [lithophone, made from hornefels], made for him by the Till family of Keswick.

What's Where in The Ruskin Museum

What's Where in The Ruskin Museum

Scale model of Pier Cottage, Coniston, the base for all K7's record attempts; made by Stephen Phillips

Scale model of Pier Cottage, Coniston, the base for all K7's record attempts; made by Stephen Phillips

Local

Eat and Drink

  • Porto Restaurant - Bowness on Windermere (6.3 miles) - Award winning restaurant nestled down the cobbles of Ash Street, in the heart of the Lake District. ...
  • Bridge House Hotel Grasmere - Grasmere (6.3 miles) - Bridge House Hotel Grasmere - a family-owned Lake District Hotel in the very heart of England's ...
  • Lakeland - Windermere (7.0 miles) - As one of the UK's home shopping pioneers with over 50 years of experience under our belts, Lake...
  • Wilf's Café - Kendal (10.5 miles) - Our Cafe in Staveley provides good food in a tranquil, riverside setting with a terrace over looking...
  • Cartmel Village Shop - Grange over sands (13.0 miles) - Cartmel village shop, situated in the village square. is the home of sticky toffee pudding ,we start...

See and Do

  • Adventure 21 Coniston (0.2 miles) - Adventure Activities, outdoor pursuits and paintballing for stag and hen parties, corporate events, ...
  • National Trust Beatrix Potter Gallery Hawkshead (3.1 miles) - Step inside this charming old building to enjoy an exhibition of Beatrix Potter's original drawi...
  • National Trust Hill Top Ambleside (4.4 miles) - Hill Top is Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse: a time-capsule of her life and her spiritua...
  • National Trust Wray Castle Ambleside (4.8 miles) - An unusual and exciting National Trust castle; this is a place for all the family to explore and enj...
  • White Platt's Recreation Ground Ambleside (6.1 miles) - Found in the centre of Ambleside, White Platt’s Recreation Ground has the best mini golf on the la...

Shopping

  • Cumbria Crystal - Ulverston (11.9 miles) - Cumbria Crystal is the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut, full lead, luxury Englis...
  • Cartmel village shop - Cartmel (12.7 miles) - The village shop has been the home of sticky toffee pudding for the last 26 years. Come and visit us...
  • Cartmel Village Shop - Grange over sands (13.0 miles) - Cartmel village shop, situated in the village square. is the home of sticky toffee pudding ,we start...
  • Leighton Hall - CARNFORTH (18.8 miles) - Leighton Hall is the home of the renowned Gillow furniture making family. Steeped in history where e...
  • The Alpaca Clothing Co - Stainton, Penrith (21.8 miles) - We are a family run clothing company situated on the outskirts of the beautiful lake District. We sp...

Contact

The RUSKIN Museum, The Story of Coniston
Yewdale Road
CONISTON
Cumbria
LA21 8DU
United Kingdom
015394 41164
loading...

Reviews

Nobody has reviewed The RUSKIN Museum, The Story of Coniston yet, Be the first.

Booking Enquiry Form

You are submitting a booking enquiry. The RUSKIN Museum, The Story of Coniston will then contact you by email with details of availability and prices.