Brantwood – John Ruskin’s home at Coniston

Following on from my previous post – below is a side view of John Ruskin’s house Brantwood at Coniston. As you can see it goes quite far back. The rather ugly grey blocks to the right of the photo are now loos but I think originally they were workshops.


I took the photo below so that you could see the view of the lake from it, the room itself is a small museum which features artefacts that Ruskin had collected, especially geological samples, the white object on the table is a huge piece of rock crystal. He seems to have been fond of that as it features in the garden too.
The drawing room is below.


And now a sort of study which has the same wallpaper, I didn’t notice that when we were there!

On to the dining room which is quite sparse looking in the photo below.
But from the other end it’s a bit more homely looking. The portraits are of members of his family.
Below is his bedroom which looks very much like it belongs to a single man but he did marry again eventually. The watercolours on the walls are of landscapes.
Below is a photo of a tiny turret room, really it’s just a bay window off the bedroom but it has a wonderful view of the lake – a favourite spot for Ruskin to sit in I believe.

Brantwood turret
Brantwood  turret room

Looking at the photos now I’m quite confused, mainly due to the same wallpaper featuring in two and possibly three rooms. Were there two pianos in the same room? Possibly there were, I used to have a boudoir grand and an upright in the same room after all – which makes me sound posh I suppose – but I’m not!

Brantwood is in a lovely location and must have been comfortable in its day. John Ruskin was a great champion of the Pre-Raphelite Botherhood of course but there’s not a great deal of evidence of any of their paintings here. Ruskin was definitely not good husband material going by his poor wife Effie’s experiences.

Effie Gray eventually married the artist Millais and they had eight children. Click on the link to read a bit more about the background of the marriage.

4 thoughts on “Brantwood – John Ruskin’s home at Coniston

  1. The house looks quite comfy. The views are amazing. I don’t know how he got any work done there with all the scenery to look at!

    • Joan,
      I think it would have been quite comfy and cosy as a home as the rooms aren’t massive. I can see why he would buy the place unseen as he knew the area well and probably thought the view was the most important thing!

  2. It’s a gracious and interesting home.

    Seeing the turret, I was immediately reminded of Arthur Ransome’s “Winter Holiday”, and the old view-house where the old man who built it could sit in all weathers and look out over the lake.

    “Pigeon Post” has a reference to the kind of geological specimen you saw:

    “I looked up quartz,” said Dick gravely. “It’s a white, semi-opaque, crystalline substance.”
    “People are keen on it for rockeries,” said Nancy. “There’s lots of it about.”

    • Valerie,
      I think I’ve only read one Arthur Ransome book, but I recently bought Pigeon Post. The rockery at Brantwood even has big lumps of amethyst in it and rose quartz. It must have been a fashion back then although I’ve only ever seen it in one ordinary garden, near where we used to live, It had huge pieces of white quartz used as edging, like big jagged teeth. I wonder if Arthur Ransome visited Brantwood?

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