Entrance to The Windermere Hotel

Windermere Conservation Area

Why is Windermere special?

Windermere is a town on the shoulder of Orrest Head in a rural Lakeland setting, a short distance from Windermere lake in view of distant high fells. Special qualities include:

  • A rare example of a town created on a ’greenfield’ site following the opening of a railway terminus in 1847;
  • Compact historic core that: grew within a 50-year period in the second half of the 19th century, was constructed almost exclusively by three local builders (Pattinson, Medcalfe and Harrison) and was built almost entirely with local stone;
  • Semi-rural eastern gateway flanked by two pre-railway buildings, both listed grade II;
  • Well-preserved examples of large out-of-town post-railway 19th century villas, such as Cleeve Howe (1853), Oakland (1854) and Hazelthwaite (1855), typical of the period and the locality;
  • Good examples of typical provincial Victorian and Edwardian commercial and residential architecture in the town centre;
  • Architectural and historic interest of the area’s buildings, including ten grade II listed buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, and numerous significant unlisted buildings;
  • Elleray (1869), a former residence built for a Manchester industrialist, together with its stables and wooded parkland (now a school);
  • Green public open spaces, namely Ellerthwaite Garden, Birthwaite Garden, Victoria Garden and the garden beside the Baddeley Clock;
  • A wealth of external period details such as decorative bargeboards, bay windows, dormers, oriels, finials, ridge tiles;
  • Trees and groups of trees that enhance the setting of historic buildings and soften the streetscene, notably in the northern part of the conservation area;
  • Prevalent use of a variety of local stone, reflecting the underlying geology of the area, used for walling, roof slates and boundary walls;
  • Attractive views to distant fells and Windermere lake;
  • Small items of street furniture that add to Windermere’s local identity such as Baddeley Clock, iron street-name signs, VR letter boxes, stone boundary walls, wall plaques and datestones;
  • Historic associations with the Rev. J. A. Addison and a cluster of Gothic-style buildings built with his influence;
  • Spacious late-19th century suburban developments off Lake Road, close to Mill Beck.

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