Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 5

I’ve been invited to take part in the “Five Photos, Five Stories” challenge by Jude of Travel Words. The challenge is quite simply to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

My five photos are from our recent Lake District holiday. The weather wasn’t very good so we visited a lot of houses. I’ve taken them in chronological order and asked “Who lived there?”

Blackwell – who lived there?


Blackwell is a beautiful Arts and Crafts house which was completed in 1901 as a holiday home for Sir Edward Holt, a wealthy brewer who was twice Lord Mayor of Manchester, his wife Elizabeth, and their five children. (No doubt it would not be much of a holiday home for the six or seven servants required to look after them!) After their eldest son died in the First World War, the Holts used Blackwell less and less and, like some of the other properties I’ve written about, it has had a variety of uses – for example, during the Second World War it became a school. It’s the only one of my five houses not to be owned by the National Trust – it was bought by the Lakeland Arts Trust in 1999 and opened to the public two years later. I’ve been here several times (the great café is an added attraction) and it reminds me very much of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh. Perhaps I’ll give you a peek at the interiors another time….

So that’s the last of my Lake District houses – Sizergh, Townend, Allan Bank, Wray and now Blackwell. Which is my favourite? Aesthetically, it has to be Blackwell, but to get a real sense of the people who lived there I would vote for the modest little farmhouse, Townend. Which would you like to visit?

For the final day I’m featuring Helen of Travels With Benches who has recently started blogging to document her walk along the Pennine Way. I so admire that! And of course, last but not least, Jude herself who nominated me for this challenge. Her link has been at the top of every post so you might already have investigated Travel Words – but she has another blog of beautiful flowers and gardens The Earth Laughs in Flowers. Jude also runs a monthly Bench Challenge which, given Helen’s title, she might be interested in. On that note of blogging matchmaking I end my Five Photos, Five Stories challenge! Many thanks, Jude, I’ve enjoyed it.


  1. That house is stunning! It’s great to have you highlighting these kinds of places, they’re off the beaten track and not necessarily well known but they’re gorgeous and they clearly deserve a visit. When the day comes that we are back in the UK and I get to organise a trip to the Lake District, or to Scotland, I’ll have to ask you for some tips of where to go, these all sound like marvellous places to discover.


  2. I’d love to go to school in a building with history like that. Though I might spend more time day dreaming about my surroundings than actually focused on my work. 😉


  3. This would be such a nice place to visit and sit in the café….I am dreaming. Wonderful to see the 5 homes and the history behind each. I am glad they are saved as so many where I live are torn down for parking lots. I love to see the interior of this home and can’t wait. I love that back window that “just” out


  4. I love the Arts and Crafts period so please do write an interiors post! And thank you for the links, I shall definitely pop over and look at the blogs you have recommended, especially Helen’s – how can I resist with that title? I have loved each and every one of your houses this week Anabel and now feel that another trip to the Lakes is required.
    Jude xx


  5. This is another gorgeous house. I like the sound of the added café, I’d love to visit it 🙂

    But my favourite? I’m afraid the fantasy fan in me will suface here. I’ll say Sizergh Castle.


  6. The exterior of this house appeals to me. Has a more “casual” look to it that attracts my attention. I think this would be my choice for a visit as well as it once was a school which fascinates me. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl


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