Ruskin memorial by Derwentwater copyright Michael Turner

John Ruskin

John Ruskin 1819 - 1900

Ruskin was a renowned Victorian poet, artist and philosopher about society and conservation.

Born in London, Ruskin was profoundly affected by his childhood experiences of the Lake District. His writings on architecture and art influenced Pre-Raphaelites artists such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

In the 1850s he became more interested in politics. He passionately believed in conservation, the importance of planning, smokeless zones, free schools and green belts and campaigned for their importance. In 1871 Ruskin bought Brantwood near Coniston and retired there in 1884. He is buried in Coniston’s churchyard.


“The first thing which I remember as an event in my life was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar's Crag on Derwentwater."

“An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.”

“Every increased possession loads us with a new weariness.”

“That country is the richest which nourishes the greatest number of noble and happy human beings.”

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