Coniston village is perfectly placed at the foot of the 2,635ft high Old Man of Coniston. For centuries, the area has earned its living from mining and quarrying, mostly slate and copper ore.
It has also been a popular holiday destination since the coming of the railway in 1859. The Coniston branch line closed to passengers in 1958 and for goods in 1962.
Coniston has charmed some remarkable people since the first Viking settlers arrived.
Alfred Lord Tennyson (the poet) spent his honeymoon here at Tent Lodge in 1848. WG Collingwood moved here as did Arthur Ransome, who wrote the Swallows and Amazons series of books. The lake and surrounding area set the scene for the tales of childhood adventures.
His books were inspired by his beloved Coniston.
Incidentally, Ransome’s first visit to the Lake District was when he was a baby and he was taken up the ‘Old Man’.
Brantwood, on the east side of Coniston, is the most beautifully situated house on Coniston. It enjoys the finest lake and mountain views in the country.
It was originally built as a simple roughcast cottage in about 1797.
It was the home of John Ruskin from 1872 until his death in 1900. Ruskin, writer, and philosopher, spent the final 28 years of his life here. He had a powerful influence on Victorian attitudes to art and politics.
Ruskin is buried in the corner of Coniston churchyard.
In 1196, Coniston Water was known as Thorstanes Watter. It is the third-largest lake in the Lake District.
On May 14th 1959, Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record of 260.35 miles per hour. He died in 1967 while attempting a further bid.