Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District

Yards of Industry

From this half term, the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry will be running an exhibition of old photographs and artefacts to shed light on a fascinating and unique part of Kendal’s history, the town’s “Yards”.   The museum’s display will attempt to answer such questions as:  What was life like the Yards? Who lived and worked there? How did they get their names?

There’s a collection of contemporary photographs of Kendal’s remaining Yards on the Visit Cumbria site here.  They are a lovely part of this old town.

Yards of Industry: The Working Life of Kendal’s Yards  : 13 February – 3 September 2016

Arts Round Up for the New Year 2016

2015-AH-Canaletto-HAbbot Hall, Blackwell House and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere are all favourite trips out for us when we are staying at Sykehouse Cottage.  I sometimes think people forget about these fine museums in their haste to get up a mountain …

Abbott Hall Art Gallery in Kendal have the fabulous “Canaletto: Celebrating Britain” running until 14 February 2016.  “Canaletto makes you feel as if you’re wandering around with your eyeballs cleaned.” Robert Clark, Guardian Guide Oct 2015

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: until 14 February 2016

2016-Laura-Ford-HThen from 11 March, both Abbott Hall and Blackwell will be showing “Laura Ford: Sculpture and Drawings”.   Located at Blackwell on the lawns, with select pieces in the main house and at Abbot Hall, this exhibition will comprise Ford’s earlier work together with new sculptures.  Laura Ford describes her work as sculptures dressed as people who are dressed as animals, as they meld together ideas of childhood memory with a disturbing edge.

Abbot Hall Art Gallery: 11 March – 25 June 2016
Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House: 11 March – 4 September 2016

fillThe Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere has  its “Shepherds to Charabancs” exhibition running until 28 February.   Subtitled “Changing Life in Grasmere 1800 to 1900” the show has been inspired by a recent addition to the museum an 1859 survey map of Grasmere.  Curated by The Grasmere History Society the exhibition explains the transformation of Grasmere through local stories and brought alive with objects belonging to local residents as well as maps, artefacts and images from the Wordsworth Trust’s collection.

The Wordsworth Museum : until 28 February.

Abbot Hall, Blackwell House and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere are all favourite trips out for us when we are staying at Sykehouse Cottage.

The wall walks the fell …

dry stone wall “A dry stone wall

Is a wall and a wall,

Leaning together

(Cumberland and Westmorland

Champion wrestlers)”

so says Norman Nicholson.

What a wonderful image!  For the walls here are often made up of two separate walls enclosing a centre filled with small stones called “heartings”.  The construction has long “through” stones to tie the two outer walls together and is finished off with a final top course of thinner slab-like stones on top of which the “cams” or coping stones were placed.

And Cumberland Wrestling is a traditional sport you can often still see at the Summer Shows including our own Broughton & Millom Show.  cumberlandThe origin of this style of wrestling is a matter of debate, with some describing it as having evolved from Norse wrestling; others associate it with a Celtic tradition.  It’s great fun to watch and as they start, gripping each other around the backs, it is easy to see why it reminded Nicholson of the Lake District walls which are some of the most distinctive and most loved features of the fells.

“The wall walks the fell –

Grey millipede on slow

Stone hooves;”

Quotations taken from Norman Nicholson’s “Wall” in his 1981 collection “Sea to the West”.  © The Trustees of the Estate of Norman Nicholson, by permission of David Higham Associates Limited.