Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry
Abbot Hall




01539 722464


01539 722494

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Museum of Lakeland Life with Trezion
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The Museum takes you back through time to explore the story of the Lake District and its inhabitants. Isolated before the arrival of the railway and motorcar, this area developed its own unique customs and traditions.

Recreated period rooms and workshops reveal how rural people lived and worked and played and how different life was before the introduction of machinery. Discover a Lake District kitchen, complete with traditional recipes and utensils, a bedroom full of vernacular furniture and furnishings – including a magnificent 17th century four-poster bed, a farmhouse parlour with a working phonograph and rare 18th century oak panelling.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

17 January - 20 December 2014
Mon - Sat 10.30 - 17.00 (Closing 16.00 Nov-Feb). Open Sundays throughout July and August, 12.00-16.00.

Admission charges

Adults £5.00, Children and Students FREE

Recreated farmhouse rooms and workshops tell the story of Lakeland folk, who lived in relative isolation before the arrival of motorcars and trains. The importance of sheep-farming and the related wool-trade, as well as mining and industry, to the area is shown through a combination of real artefacts and photography. A recreation of author Arthur Ransome's study, complete with his personal papers and posessions, tells the story of his fascination with the Lakes, and an Arts & Crafts area highlights the importance of figures like John Ruskin had on the revival of local crafts. Parts of the collection that are not on permanent display can be seen by prior arrangement.

Collection details

Agriculture, Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Industry, Medicine, Personalities, Photography, Science and Technology, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • Joseph Hardman
  • Arthur Ransome
  • Arts & Crafts in Cumbria
  • Simpsons of Kendal
  • Stanley Davies
  • Annie Garnett
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Kendal Mint Cake

Kendal Mint Cake: On Top of the World

  • 17 January — 6 July 2014 *on now

From the Arctic to Everest, Kendal Mint Cake has fortified those facing danger and in need of an instant source of energy. The sugary bar has been to the top of the world on many occassions, and formed an essential part of the ration pack on Everest expeditions from the 1920s to the 1970s. Find out how the confectionary is produced and see artefacts from expeditions that have used it, including a replica set of George Mallory’s 1924 expedition gear, as well as items from the 1953 and 1975 expeditions.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Museum admission - Free for young people up to the age of 16 and full-time students over 16, Adults £5.00


Waterbird over Ferry Hotel Windermere

First World War Centenary: From Fells to Flanders

  • 17 July — 20 December 2014

In July 2014, Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry will open a temporary display to explore the Lake District’s contribution to the First World War and the impact that was felt at home.

‘At first glance the conflict seems to have been so far away from the pleasant landscape of the Lake District, but further examination reveals that this region made a huge contribution to the war effort. Experiments in early flight on Windermere were instrumental to the formation of the Royal Naval Air Service, local industries and individuals got behind the war effort and craftsmen and women carved memorials and produced artwork to commemorate those who did not return home.’ James Arnold, Assistant Curator Social History, Lakeland Arts

The Museum would be interested to hear about your family’s stories of Lakeland Life during the First World War and to learn of heirlooms that survive as a record of your family’s role in the conflict. Please contact James Arnold on or 01539 722464.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Adults £5.00, Children and Students FREE


Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.


  • 30 April 2014 2-2:20pm

Hugh Wright leads an in depth look at the fabulous Stanley Webb Davies & Simpson furniture on display.


Free with admission, no booking required


Dr TT Macan Deputy Director taking water samples from Ennerdale Lake. Freshwater Biological Association

Clear Waters: An Oral History Project

  • 22 May 2014 10am-5pm

The Clear Waters Oral History Project is run by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The project is recording the changes that have occurred in Windermere and the catchment over the last 50-60 years. Interviews have been recorded with anglers, local people interested in wildlife and recreation and former FBA staff and members. The themes of the project are fishing, wildlife, recreation, invasive species, reedbeds, bluegreen algae and weather.

Suitable for

  • Any age
  • Family friendly


Museum adult £5.00, children and students free.