Blackwell House

Once a year my Embroiderers Guild has a day out instead of our monthly meeting, so on Monday we travelled by coach to visit Blackwell House which is situated near Windermere in the Lake District. This meant we had a lovely scenic drive up through the Yorkshire Dales and then into the Lake District and the sun shone all day too…

Blackwell is an Arts & Crafts house, I’ve been fascinated by the Ats & Crafts movement for years, I love the work of William Morris and his contempories so I was really interested to visit the house. We had an excellent talk and tour by one of their volunteer guides and we were also given a useful leaflet which explains the Arts & Crafts movement…DSC_0188

The Arts & Crafts movement was one of the most influential design movements of modern times. During the late 19th century there was a resurgence of interest in hand-made crafts, encouraged by William Morris and John Ruskin. Ruskin lived near Blackwell on the shores of Coniston. Arts & Crafts artists and supporters were passionate about keeping traditional handicrafts alive during the early days of mass production.

Arts & Crafts architects used local materials, building traditions and craftspeople to create buildings that were in harmony with the surrounding landscape and architecture. Designers…used organic shapes, colours and patterns to bring architecture and people closer to nature. They looked at every detail as part of the whole – from the door handles to the chairs.’DSC_0131

Blackwell was designed by Baillie Scott for a wealthy Manchester family who wanted a holiday home! It is situated just above Lake Windermere and unusually it’s main facade is facing south away from the lake. Baillie Scott designed it that way to maximise natural light, rather than having a lake view.DSC_0065

The interior is beautiful, lots of wood paneling and huge inglenook hearths with seating either side of the alcove. You can imagine during the cold Lake District winters they were a snug place to be.DSC_0096

The wood carvings were beautiful, these were screens high up in front of the minstrels gallery situated above the inglenook. I leaned out and took the photo pointing back, it captures all the detail of little birds amongst the trees and nests in the branches.

There is a theme running through the design details of rowan berries and bluebirds. The rowan can be seen on these wood carvings going all around the walls of the main hall.DSC_0060

There were lots of stained glass windows, often just little ones either side of the chimney, but they were beautiful, almost Art Deco in places. The bluebirds can be seen in many of these.


Many of the fires had a few decorative tiles too…


I loved the detail in the ironmongery, all the window catches were beautifully designed, all the door handles and even bolts were part of the overall image.


Outside in the garden were some pretty borders with a gorgeous wisteria, it did make me think I want one, to help cover up our big fence!DSC_0179

The house is also used as an exhibition space for ceramics, you can see a few in the photos above. There is also a fascinating ‘thing’ in the garden. I wondered what it was from the house as it is a big blue construction which kept getting in the way of my photos! When I explored the garden I realised it was a sort of natural kaleidescope. Inside a tube there were lots of mirrors to make several different images, here’s one of the lake..DSC_0167

All in all it was a lovely day out, Blackwell is a fascinating house, it has a lovely cafe too in which I had a slice of the lightest Victoria sponge ever!!



About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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31 Responses to Blackwell House

  1. Your photos are gorgeous and do a great job of capturing how lovely Blackwell is. I really enjoyed my visit a few years ago and I would have been very tempted to take that wisteria home as well as the rest of the cake!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thank you, I’d have loved to take the wisteria home too! The other half of the story with the cake is that I was given it free after they messed up my sandwich order, another girl in our party thought it looked nice so she went to buy a slice, only to be told ‘sorry, we’ve just sold the last slice!!”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. KerryCan says:

    What a house! I love the Arts & Crafts look, and philosophy–would really like to see this house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      I love the Arts & Crafts look and philosophy too with it’s emphasis on nature. It did cross my mind as I wrote it that we are seeing a resurgence in handmade at the moment, but same as then, you need to have the finances behind you to enjoy the traditionally made things in life. These were all very wealthy men who were against the factories and mills who made things cheaper for more people to enjoy and also gave an awful lot of people employment. There’s two sides to every argument but I do love the design style of the Arts & Crafts movement.


  3. Margaret Avril Baxter says:

    I love the house having visited there twice. Your photos show the details beautifully and you were fortunate in having ovely weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Deb says:

    I can see why you were excited to see this place,it’s truly beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. kathyreeves says:

    That is a fantastic house, thank you for capturing its beauty and the details about it! A great example of the Arts & Crafts look!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laura says:

    Wow! What a gorgeous place! Very inspiring for one’s creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary Kerlin says:

    Thank you for sharing. Blackwell House is exquisite and your photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Kate says:

    What a gorgeous house! Thanks for sharing your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jaya says:

    Your blog has opened up a whole new world to me! So happy to feast my eyes on so much beauty. Thanks for sharing πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The stain glass and carvings are beautiful. You don’t see that any more thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gorgeous, thank you for the lovey tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Glorious house! Voting definitely for wisteria for your fence, and you decide which colour. (Saw a photo of yellow lately!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Catherine says:

    This sounds like a really lovely trip! What a wonderful and inspirational place. I too love the designs of William Morris.


  14. magpiesue says:

    So much visual inspiration! What a great day you must have had. I can see the exterior of the house being stitched up in cross stitch or needlepoint, and those window and tile designs are obviously good choices for any craft. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: February Windows | thecraftycreek

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