History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
Over the past four centuries the collection of objects from daily life has accumulated and changed, so that today Townend gives a vivid picture of what life was like here in the Lake District over the past few hundred years.
The location is superb, on the side of a hill looking across the Troutbeck Valley, a location that author Beatrix Potter declared was her favourite in the Lakes.
George Browne was a 'statesman', a local term for a wealthy yeoman. As such he was not truly a poor farmer, nor was he a member of the nobility. Perhaps today he might be termed 'upper middle class'. What makes Townend unique is that so little has changed since George Browe's day; most of the wonderfully carved furniture that is the one of the house's major attractions was built especially for the Brownes.
There is a wood fire burning in the fireplace most days (which, given the variable Lake District climate, is just as well). The furniture is wonderful; each piece unique and many beautifully carved in a rustic style. The kitchen is an absolute delight, with wonderful wooden chests, cupboards, chairs, sideboards, and a grandfather clock, all arrayed beneath darkened timber beams where pot, pans, and kettles hang in profusion.
Among the many pieces on display is a flintlock gun, whose absurdly long barrel looks extremely awkward to handle!
Outside there is a small range of farm buildings including a dairy, and a small period garden that really adds lovely colour.
If you are coming by car, I highly advise arriving immediately at or slightly before opening time, as the car park for Townend is very small and fills up quickly. If it is a sunny summer day, visitors descend on Townend like, well, no, not a horde of locusts, but it is a pretty popular place, given how close it is to major centres like Windermere. There is a walk to the house, which is mostly level, and this actually gives you a good opportunity to admire the very pretty views across the valley. And it certainly is a good idea to visit on a bright, sunny day, as the interiors of Townend are rather ill-lit and to really get the best glimpse of the interior it helps if the sun is shining outside! Now, for goodness sake don't let that put you off; I loved Townend. The interior was full of so many marvelous examples of period furniture, and all the bric-a-brac of daily life accumulated over 3 centuries plus, that it is a real treat to visit.
Address: Troutbeck, Windermere, Cumbria, England, LA23 1LB
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 5 m SE Ambleside, off A592
Phone: 015394 32628
National Trust - see also: National Trust memberships (official website link)
OS: NY407 020
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
Historic Time Periods:
Find other attractions tagged with:
Tudor (Time Period) -
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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