Sykehouse Cottage

A beautiful C17th Holiday Cottage in the Lake District


William Wordsworth

Apart from wandering the Fells and spotting the daffodils, there are two excellent houses to visit associated with Wordsworth.

After University at Cambridge and a spell living in Dorset, in 1799 Wordsworth now aged 29 moved back to the Lake District to Dove Cottage in Grasmere; and in 1813 he moved six miles East to Rydal Mount,a house between Grasmere and Ambleside, where he lived until he died in 1850.  Both houses can be visited and are about 20 miles from our cottage.

Rydal_Mount_-_geograph.org.uk_-_959824Rydal Mount is a privately run house with beautifully landscaped gardens shaped by Wordsworth.  Their website can be reached here.

Dove Cottage is the home of The Wordsworth Trust, an independent charity, set up to preserve the house and its neighbouring buildings.  The Trust also looks after works by Wordsworth and other writers and artists of the period.  At the heart of this collection are the manuscripts that Wordsworth’s descendants donated in 1935 so that they could remain at Dove Cottage.  The Trust has an excellent programme of exhibitions and activities.  Their website can Dove_Cottage_-_geograph.org.uk_-_70618be found here.


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


Sails at Windermere Jetty

sail

Just discovered this lovely blog post by Windermere Jetty about preserving and conserving the old sails in their collection.   Their oldest sail (pictured here) belongs to 1934 17ft Windermere yacht, Dawn.

If you want to read more about their work click here.

The museum is committed to conserving, saving and sharing the internationally important Windermere boat collection and their focus is on telling the stories behind these boats and they want to actively involve visitors in the crafts and tradition that built them.

Windermere Jetty, designed by Carmody Groarke architects, is due to re-open in 2017.  In the meantime the museum is ‘Just Visiting’ Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre.


A change of air and exercise

celia fiennesIn c17th, when travel for its own sake was unheard of, Celia Fiennes roamed around England on horseback “to regain my health by variety and change of aire and exercise.”  Sometimes she travelled with relatives but she made her “Great Journey to Newcastle and Cornwall” of 1698 accompanied only by one or two servants.

Fiennes took notes to entertain her family and never intended to publish. So it is lovely that we can now all read her frank, vivid and unvarnished opinions in “Through England on a Side Saddle” as her writings provide an entirely unmannered portrait of the Lake District – unlike later Romantic writers.

char fishingShe talks of “Charr ffish … they pott with sweete spices”, oat Clapbread (easier to digest than the more common rye bread) and the “great Lake Wiandermer” into which trickling springs give “a pleasing sound and murmuring noise.”

A full transcript of her journey can be read at the delightful Vision of Britain website created by the University of Portsmouth’s Geography Department.


Windermere Jetty

windermereIf you read many of our posts, you will realise we are fascinated by all things industrial in the history of the Lake District and so we are thrilled about The Lakeland Arts’ new development, Windermere Jetty.  This is the new name for the Windermere Steamboat Museum and will house a unique collection of historic vessels with a working and possibly viewable (yes, please) conservation workshop.  Scanning through the publicity, it looks as though “the Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories” will be a fun and inspiring experience and a great addition to a visitors’ itinerary.

windermereThe opening of Windermere Jetty is scheduled for completion in 2016 and, in the meantime, Lakeland Arts are “Just Visiting” at Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, where you can find more information this exciting project.  Click this link through to the Lakeland Arts main website.  And this link will take you to their informative WordPress blog.


C17th recipes at Townend

Townend dinner

Townend at Troutbeck is one of our very favourite National Trust properties because wandering around this lovely farmhouse, you can get a real sense of what everyday life would have been like in the collection of C17th houses in the hamlet of Syke in Broughton.   This year they are bringing to life a collection of recipes written by Elizabeth Birkett in 1699 and on Thursday afternoons throughout October, you can watch and help them to recreate some of these recipes from meaty mince pies and macaroons to medicines dating back to the 17th century.  For further information, please follow the link here.


Townend: A Quiet Jewel

townendTownend : A Quiet Jewel.

East of Windermere is an historical treasure that we have a special interest in – for it was built around about the same time as Sykehouse Cottage.  It’s attached to no famous name and therefore doesn’t attract the crowds – like that other farm on the west of the Lake, Hill Top, does – but for a delightful insight into 400 years of Lakeland life, Townsend is perfect.  The Browne family was an ordinary farming family but their home at Troutbeck is a beautiful evocation of a past life and well worth a detour to visit.  The place is crammed full of quirky household objects from c17th onwards.  There are excellent, informative guided tours and often they put on an afternoon of cooking where they recreate some of the recipes from the Brownes’ family recipe books.

Townend is a National Trust property and is open from March to October.  It’s about 20 miles from the Cottage and for further details on opening times and prices, follow this link.