Alfred Waterhouse in Cumbria

Alfred Waterhouse in Cumbria

Alfred Waterhouse
Alfred Waterhouse
Alfred Waterhouse (1830 – 1905) was born in Liverpool, the son of Wealthy Quaker parents. He was a British architect, best known for his design for Manchester Town Hall and the Natural History Museum in London. He built a wide variety of other buildings throughout the country many in the Victorian Gothic Revival style.
After studying architecture in Manchester, and travelling throughout Europe, he set up his own architectural practice in Manchester and became probably the most successful of all Victorian architects. After 12 years (in 1865) he moved his practice to London.
In 1856-1858 Waterhouse designed Fawe Park overlooking Derwentwater, Keswick for James Bell. This house was later used by Beatrix Potter’s family as a holiday home, as was Lingolm next to it.
Allonby Reading Rooms. Photo by Jan Fialkowski

In the village of Allonby on the coast near Maryport, the Quakers formed a large and influential section of the local community. The Quakers were responsible for a meeting house, swimming baths, North Home home for poor people, and the reading rooms which opened in 1862. Joseph Pease, M.P., a wealthy Quaker industrialist from County Durham commissioned Alfred Waterhouse (at age 32) to design the building. After years of dereliction, it has recently (2013) been restored as a family home.
Lingholm, Keswick.

Lingholm, Keswick. Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham.

Lingholm, on the banks of Derwentwater, Keswick, was designed by Waterhouse between 1871-1875 for the brewer Colonel Greenall. It was one of two houses that were rented by the Potter Family between 1885 and 1907, and where the young Beatrix Potter gained inspiration for some of her stories. The house and grounds inspired stories including ‘The Tales of Peter Rabbit’, ‘Mrs Tiggywinkle’, and ‘Benjamin Bunny,’ and were the source of many of her illustrations. The woods around Lingholm, with its population of red squirrels are said to have been the direct inspiration for ‘The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin.’
Lingholm is now offering self catering accommodation – see, and work is ongoing to get the gardens back in bloom and open to the public again.
The Parsonage, Kendal. Photo by Matthew Emmott.

According to Wikipedia, Kendal Parsonage was designed by Waterhouse in 1863, though I can find no other information about this building. The ground floor is now self-catering accommodation.
Work by Alfred Waterhouse in Cumbria

  • Rothay Holme, Ambleside (1854)
  • Pettit’s Art Gallery, Keswick (1856–57)
  • Elleray Bank (house), Windermere (1856–61)
  • Roses Trees (house), Keswick (1857–61)
  • Restoration of St Mary’s Church, Rydal (1857)
  • Gate lodge, Brathay Hall, Ambleside (1857)
  • Fawe Park (house), Keswick (1858)
  • Alterations to Friends’ Meeting House, Cartmel (1859)
  • Derwent Grange, Kendal (1859)
  • Reading room and teacher’s house, Allonby (1861)
  • Parsonage, Newton-in-Furness (1861)
  • Alterations to School, Allonby (1862)
  • Parsonage, Kendal (1863)
  • House, offices & stables, Windermere (1863–66)
  • Lingholm (house), Keswick (1871-1875)

Other noteable works by Alfred Waterhouse

  • Strangeways Gaol, Manchester (1866–68)
  • Town Hall, Manchester (1868–78)
  • Natural History Museum, London (1873–81)
  • Girton College, Cambridge (1873)
  • Prudential Assurance Building, London (1885–1901)
  • University College Hospital, London (1897–1906)

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