Townend

Holbeck Ln, Troutbeck, Windermere, LA23 1LB
Townend

Townend (Mike Peel / Wikipedia.org)

Townend is a National Trust property deep in the Lake District. This quirky cottage is a little off the beaten track, but it’s real gem of a place, brimming with history. The cottage was owned by the Brownes family for 400 years, but it passed to the National Trust in 1943, along with much of the contents.

Whilst so many historical houses were once home to the aristocracy and well-to-do, Townend gives a glimpse of what life was like in times gone by for more ordinary families.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01539432628 / Website
Cost:
Adult £8, Child £4, Family £20 (Cash Only)
Seasonal Opening:
Open March to October (Closed Mon & Tues all year)
 

History

Kitchen Fireplace at Townend

Kitchen Fireplace at Townend (Carol Walker / geograph.org.uk)

Records show that the house was first built in 1626 on behalf of George Browne, a well-off farmer who was seeking a home for himself and his new wife. The house passed through the generations, with each member of the family adding their own items of furniture and other belongings.

The last Browne to occupy the house, also a George, was a keen antiquarian and a woodcarver, and he therefore took great effort to preserve the house’s contents. As a result, when the house became the property of the National Trust in 1943, it was a treasure trove of historical objects, including a large collection of books.

Things To See

Because of the nature of the building and its location, it’s best to visit Townend on a day when there is plenty of light, as the house can be quite dark inside. Visitors are usually welcomed into the kitchen with the sight of a real burning fire. Visitors can stroll through the house, which is full of quirky items and unusual pieces of furniture. The library has a vast collection of books, and visitors are encouraged to try and spot some of the more unconventional pieces of wood-carving that were created by the last occupant, George Browne. It was said that George was quite a character, and examples of this can be found throughout the house, with carved mermaids and strange looking clocks amongst the curious collection.

Outside there is a cottage style garden that is an idyllic place to simply stop and admire the flowers. For children, there is a discovery trail will keep them occupied with plenty of things to spot as they go through the house. Occasionally, recipes from Elizabeth Birkett, one of the former occupiers of the house who left her recipe book amongst its contents, are recreated in the kitchen.

Useful Information

The National Trust offer guided tours on a first come first serve basis each day at 11am and again at 12noon. After, between 1pm and 4pm, the house is open to the public for a self-guided tour.

There is no café here. There is some parking, but in busy periods you may find it difficult to get a space. Alternatively, you could consider walking to Townend from Brockhole, as described in our walking guide here. This property does not have card facilities so entry fees need to be paid for with cash.

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