Lake District interiors

Last week, I showed the exteriors of five Lakeland houses and asked who lived there. This week, I’m taking a peek into their interiors. The first two have very fine woodwork, but consequently are dark and not very photogenic so the best is saved to last. (Click on the title links if you want to see the outside.)

Sizergh Castle


Allan Bank

Allan Bank is unrestored and allows all sorts of creative activities (we were particularly taken by the dragon) as well as having a large board for visitors to write their suggestions. I hadn’t visited anywhere quite like it – until we went to Wray Castle a couple of days later.

Wray Castle

Unrestored, like Allan Bank, with opportunities to write on walls! The ship’s wheel remains from the house’s time as a naval college and the Peter Rabbit room for children is a nod towards Beatrix Potter who was once a holiday tenant.


As I said – the best is saved to last. Blackwell is an Arts and Crafts house which reminds me so much of Mackintosh’s work.

Which house would you rather live in?

This week on the Road Trip

I’ve met a few new (to me) bloggers on the A to Z Road Trip this week. So far so good. My featured choice is Eunice at A tent, a caravan, 4 wheels and me. Eunice is from Bolton in Lancashire and solo-camps with her two dogs. Although I’m fairly sure I’ll never go camping again, I enjoy reading about her experiences and the photos of her recent Welsh trips are lovely.

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 2

I’ve been invited to take part in the “Five Photos, Five Stories” challenge by Jude of Travel Words. The challenge is 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’m taking them in chronological order and asking “Who lived there?”

Townend – who lived there?

Townend, Troutbeck

Townend in Troutbeck has two things in common with yesterday’s house – it’s owned by the National Trust and it was home to the same family for centuries. But unlike the Stricklands of Sizergh, the Brownes, who lived here from the seventeenth century till 1948, were an ordinary family of farmers. I find the stories of every day people much more appealing than those of aristocrats, and Townend teems with characters. For example, Elizabeth Birkett married Ben Browne in 1703 and kept a commonplace book of recipes which still exists. I bought a little booklet of extracts and might try her bean cakes or apricot paste – but perhaps not some of her remedies such as “to stop bleeding at the nose: take the blood of the patient and therewith write on his brow the words consummatum est.” Another interesting inhabitant was George Browne who lived at Townend in Victorian times. By the time he owned the estate the family had made enough money for him to retire from farming at the age of 40. He turned his attention to his hobbies which included gardening, local history and wood carving. Much of the (quite quirky) furniture in the house was made or added to by George. I love all these details – so much so that I’ve now visited the house three times.

As yesterday, I’m not making any specific nominations, but if you’d like to do 5 Photos 5 Stories let me know in the comments and I’ll make it “official”. I’m also continuing to feature other bloggers who write about Britain. (These features are not nominations unless the recipients wish them to be.) Today it’s Joy Loves Travel. Her recent posts have made me wonder why I haven’t been to Wales for over 20 years, and why I’ve never been to Northern Ireland. However, at the moment Joy is exploring Hampton Court’s Gorgeous Gardens and Grounds. Well worth a visit!