Rusland Tannery

South-eastern Lake District

Ambleside Roman Fort

Remains of Ambleside Roman Fort copyright LDNPA

A century ago, there was little sign that a Roman fort once stood here, guarding the supply route from Ravenglass. Today you can clearly see the foundations of the headquarters building, commandant's house, granaries, gates and defences, all exposed by excavations in 1914-20. The dig also showed that this stone fort, built in the second century AD, replaced an earlier wooden one. You can see some of the finds in Ambleside's Armitt Museum and Library (opens in new window). Managed by the National Trust and English Heritage.

Location: Grid reference NY372034. 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) south of Ambleside. Short walk from car park along A593.

Featured in our Talking to the past leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Ambleside Roman Fort Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Stott Park Bobbin Mill

Stott Park Bobbin Mill copyright LDNPA

Built in 1835, this mill made wooden bobbins for Lancashire’s spinning and weaving industries. It was powered first by a water-wheel fed from a mill pond, then by steam power and finally by electricity. The original machinery has hardly changed. The mill closed in 1971 but is now run as a working museum, where you can see bobbins being made. Find out more on the English Heritage website (opens in new window). Entry charge applies.

Location: Grid ref SD372884. 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) north of Newby Bridge on minor road off A590.

Featured in our Working the landscape leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Stott Park Bobbin Mill Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Rusland Tannery

Rusland Tannery copyright LDNPA

Tanning is the long, messy business of turning animal hides into leather. The main tannery building dates from the mid eighteenth century. You can see the tanning pits and two rebuilt ‘beam stones’ - work surfaces - where tanners scraped the hides. The process needed water, lime and oak bark, which were all available nearby, as well as dog and chicken poo! Rusland produced heavy-duty leather for goods such as boots, straps and harness. Managed by the Lake District National Park Authority.

Location: Grid ref SD341887. 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) north west of Newby Bridge on minor road to Satterthwaite. Limited parking.

Featured in our Working the landscape leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see our Rusland Tannery in-depth case study page and Rusland Tannery Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Blackwell Historic House

Blackwell Historic House copyright LDNPA

Designed by the famous architect M H Baillie-Scott and completed in 1900, this was a country retreat for a wealthy Manchester industrialist. It’s a perfect example of the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style fashionable at the time, on the cusp between Victorian and modern design. The stunning interior has survived more or less intact. Today, after restoration of the house and garden, it’s open to the public with period rooms and exhibition galleries. Find out more at (opens in new window). Managed by the Lakeland Arts Trust. Entry charge.

Location: Grid ref SD400945. 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) south of Bowness-on- Windermere.

Featured in our Houses, huts and history leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Blackwell Historic House Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Townend Statesman's House

Townend Statesman's House copyright LDNPA

This perfectly preserved seventeenth century house gives you a glimpse into the life of a comfortably-off farming family. It was built in 1626 for George Browne, a newly-married ‘statesman’ farmer, whose family continued to live here for over 300 years. The house was extended in the late 1600s, but has hardly changed since that time. It includes some beautiful carved furniture made for the Brownes. Find out more on the National Trust website (opens in new window). Entry charge.

Location: Grid ref NY406020. Troutbeck, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) north of Windermere.

Featured in our Houses, huts and history leaflet (PDF)

Springs Bloomery

Springs Bloomery

This grassy mound was once a medieval ‘bloomery', a simple charcoal-heated furnace for smelting iron ore. The mound was partly excavated in 1897, but no-one knew how big an area the site covered. The National Trust needed to know this in order to care for it properly, and a geophysical survey provided the answers. Managed by the National Trust.

Location: Grid reference SD303953. West bank of Coniston Water. Park in Coniston, then take footpath south for 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles).

Featured in our Talking to the past leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Springs Bloomery Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

Brantwood Barkpeeler's Hut

Brantwood Barkpeeler's Hut copyright Brantwood Estate

In the Lake District’s older woodlands you may see low, circular stone walls with traces of a hearth. These were huts where bark peelers lived in summer. Their job was to remove bark from oak trees, before the trees were coppiced, to supply local tanneries. Their families made woodland products like brooms and clothes-pegs. There’s a reconstructed hut in the grounds of Brantwood House. Don’t miss the house itself, once the home of Victorian intellectual John Ruskin. Find out more on the website (opens in new window). Entry charge.

Location: Grid ref SD312958. Brantwood, 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) south east of Coniston or 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles) south west of Hawkshead. Ferry from Coniston.

Featured in our Houses, huts and history leaflet (PDF)

Coniston Copper Mines

Coniston Coppermines copyright LDNPA

This lovely valley is honeycombed with old copper mines. Begun around 1600, they eventually became the largest and most profitable in northern England. Some of the shafts were 335 metres (1,100 feet) deep. But output steadily declined, and the death blow came when world copper prices fell in the late nineteenth century. Find out more in Coniston’s Ruskin Museum.

Location: Grid ref SD285992. 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) north west of Coniston, along the footpath up Church Beck.

Featured in our Working the landscape leaflet (PDF)

For more in depth information see Coniston Copper Mines Historic Environment Record (opens in new window)

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Created with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund