The Ruskin Museum

The Ruskin Museum
Yewdale Road
Coniston
Cumbria
LA21 8DU
England

Website

introduction to The Ruskin Museum's collections.

www.ruskinmuseum.com

archive on search/recovery of Bluebird K7, and subsequent conservarion rebuild, including up-to-date info

www.bluebirdproject.com

E-mail

information@ruskinmuseum.com

Telephone

01539 441164

Fax

01539 441132

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
John Ruskin's watercolour study of The Fondaco di Turchi [The Turkish Merchants' House] in Venice
Shop icon Study area icon Visual disability facilities icon Wheelchair access icon

Ruskin gave a collection of minerals/crystals to Coniston Mechanics'Institute in 1884. Local objects were added. After Ruskin's death in 1900, his aide-de-campe, W.G. Collingwood organised a major memorial exhibition in the Institute. This raised the funds to build The Ruskin Museum, which was opened, as Coniston's permanent memorial to its most famous resident, by Canon H.D.Rawnsley in 1901. W.G. Collingwood, a local artist and antiquarian who was Ruskin's first biographer, wanted to show how Ruskin, the great Victorian pundit on aesthetics and ethics, had developed his ideas through drawing, so the museum houses a comprehensive collection of his art. Collingwood also determined to celebrate the area's heritage. Coniston is a prime example of a place where nature and history, environment and man, meet in a topographical dimension, and together generate culture. So, The Ruskin Museum, quintupled in size in 1997/98, and further extended in 2008/09,now houses and interprets the text-book local geology and associated copper-mines and slate quarries; the Neolithic, Bronze Age and monastic industrial revolutions; Herdwick sheep husbandry; The Ruskin-inspired Arts & Crafts Langdale Linen & Ruskin Lace Industry; Coniston Water as monastic fishery, adventure playground for Arthur Ransom's 'Swallows and Amazons', and, since 1939, race-track of the Speed Aces Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son, Donald Campbell, in their Bluebird hydroplanes.Donald Campbell's Bluebird K7 is currently undergoing a conservation rebuild to full operational order, prior to low-speed engineering proving trials and installation in The Bluebird Wing at The Ruskin Museum. The Rough Guide to The Lake District, all editions, nominates The Ruskin Museum as 'the most thought-provoking in the Lakes' for its authorative introduction to The Story of Coniston, which deploys a rich array of objects, and employs film and IT as well as detailed information folders.

Venue Type:

Museum, Gallery

Opening hours

9 March 2013 to 10 November 2013 : daily : 10.00am to 5.30pm
(Last admission 4.45pm)

Winter hours: Wednesday 13 November 2013 to Friday 7 March 2014 :
Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 3.30pm
[Last admission 2.45pm]

CLOSED : 24, 25, 26 December 2011 and 1 January 2012.


Phone for more details

Admission charges

Adults £5.25
Child £2.50
Family £14.00 (2 adults + up to 4 children)
Group Rates [Adult] pre-booked and pre-paid:
10 - 15 @ £5.00 each
16 - 35 @ £4.75 each
36 - 49 @ £4.50 each
School Group: £1.50 per child, teachers free

Members of The Art Fund : Free

Discount vouchers available for cruises aboard Coniston Launch and/or SY Gondola, and for visits to Brantwood and/or The Lakeland Motor Museum.

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • International Council of Museums
Getting there

By Road: From M6 J36, follow A590 and A591.From A591 at Ambleside, follow A593 via Skelwith Bridge to Coniston; park on main car park in centre of village, or turn right between Coniston Co-Op and the Black Bull and park on left of Mines Road, just past museum. There are two spaces for disabled drivers/passengers on site. From A590 at Greenodd, follow A592 towards Lowick. then right on to A5084 to Torver, then right on to A593 to Coniston. After petrol station on left, cross bridge and turn left between Black Bull and Co-Op on to Mines Road; or, from bridge, take road between Church and Yewdale Hotel to main car park. From Hawkshead, take B5285 over Hawkshead Hill, [possibly taking scenic detour to Tarn Hows], to Coniston, finding main car park on left opposite The Crown.

By Bus: The X12 bus service runs hourly from Ulverston Station; Stagecoach runs a regular service from Bowness/Windermere, via Ambleside and Hawkshead.

By Foot: For walkers, Coniston is on The Cumbria Way. There are footpath routes from Hawkshead, via Tarn Hows.

By Cycle : For Cyclists, Coniston is on a designated Cycle Way, in part off-road.

Additional info

The Ruskin Museum has level access, and the main displays are on the ground floor; a lift provides first floor access for those requiring it. There is a disabled toilet facility.

The Ruskin Museum's developments in 1997/98 and 2008/09 were specifically designed on Ruskinian principles of truth to local materials [recycled second-hand local Coniston stone, slate and copper] and traditional vernacular building styles, to create a building that works in a low-carbon foot-print manner, thanks to heavy insulation and shutters, and the use of borrowed light. Ruskin was one of the first to notice, and to crusade against, the pollutant effects of industrialisation.

The Ruskin Museum is owned and managed by the people of Coniston, a small and relatively isolated Lakeland community becoming increasingly dependent on tourism for the viability of its small marginal businesses. The museum extends dwell-time in the community, and thus discretionary spend: recent research by AIM puts an added value to the local economy of between £30,000 and £50,000 per 1,000 museum visitors.

Collection details

Archaeology, Archives, Coins and Medals, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Fine Art, Land Transport, Maritime, Music, Natural Sciences, Personalities, Social History

Key artists and exhibits

  • John Ruskin collection
  • coppermines
  • slate
  • geology
  • farming
  • Donald Campbell
  • Langdale Linen and Ruskin Lace
Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.
Biographical information about Coniston's WW1 hero, L./Cpl. James [Jimmy] Hewitson, who won his VC 'for most conspicuous bravery, initiative and daring in action', at Givenchy on 26 April 1918. 'The extraordinary feats of daring performed by this gallant NCO', who killed 16 German soldiers & captured another in three sorties, 'crushed the hostile oppostion at this point'.

Coniston's WW1 hero, James [Jimmy] Hewitson VC

A new display commemorates the courage of Coniston's WW1 hero,L./Cpl. James [Jimmy] Hewitson, VC, [1892 - 1963]. He served in the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, was wounded four times and redeployed four times, and won his VC at Givenchy on 26 April 1918 'for most conspicuous bravery, initiative and daring in action'. The citation concludes:'The extraordinary feats of daring performed by this gallant NCO crushed the hostile opposition at this point.'

Getting there

By Road: From M6 J36, follow A590 and A591.From A591 at Ambleside, follow A593 via Skelwith Bridge to Coniston; park on main car park in centre of village, or turn right between Coniston Co-Op and the Black Bull and park on left of Mines Road, just past museum. There are two spaces for disabled drivers/passengers on site. From A590 at Greenodd, follow A592 towards Lowick. then right on to A5084 to Torver, then right on to A593 to Coniston. After petrol station on left, cross bridge and turn left between Black Bull and Co-Op on to Mines Road; or, from bridge, take road between Church and Yewdale Hotel to main car park. From Hawkshead, take B5285 over Hawkshead Hill, [possibly taking scenic detour to Tarn Hows], to Coniston, finding main car park on left opposite The Crown.

By Bus: The X12 bus service runs hourly from Ulverston Station; Stagecoach runs a regular service from Bowness/Windermere, via Ambleside and Hawkshead.

By Foot: For walkers, Coniston is on The Cumbria Way. There are footpath routes from Hawkshead, via Tarn Hows.

By Cycle : For Cyclists, Coniston is on a designated Cycle Way, in part off-road.

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