The Armitt

Location : Ambleside


Image of the Armitt museum in the town of Ambleside, image shows the entrance of the museum with tree in the foreground
The Armitt Museum, Ambleside, South Lakes

The Armitt is a new purpose built home for the Mary Armitt Collection – a collection of books, manuscripts, water-colours, archaeological remains, geological specimens and assorted paraphernalia.


The Armitt Library was founded in accordance with the will of Mary Louisa Armitt and the wishes of her two sisters, ‘to create a collection of books of scientific, literary and antiquarian value’ for the ‘student and book-lover’, and eventually a small museum.
It was opened as a subscription library in 1912, and embodied the old 1828 Ambleside Book Society, of which William Wordsworth had been a member, and the Ambleside Ruskin Library, founded by Hardwicke Rawnsley in 1882 with the active support of John Ruskin.


There is an exhibition space containing a variety of interactive experiences, and a reference library containing the collection of rare books.


Image of a water colour painted by Beatrix Potter, found inside the Armitt Museum


At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Armitt sisters lived at Rydal Cottage, next to Rydal Church. Here they enjoyed the company of many artists and writers, including John Ruskin, Browning and the Arnolds, who lived nearby.


The Armitt regularly changes its exhibitions and displays, showcasing its varied collections of objects, artworks, and books, and telling stories about the people, places, and passions of the Lake District.

2021 opening times:
(April-October) – Thursday-Sunday 10.00 – 17.00 (last admission 16.30).
2021 admission fees:
Adults – £6.00
Students – £4.00
Children (under 16) – FREE
Rydal Rd, Ambleside, Cumbria. LA22 9BL. Tel: 015394 31212 / [email protected]
Related Links :

Popular pages:


Grid Ref : SD 375047

Archived Photos of the Armitt

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="800"]image of the exterior of the armitt museum in ambleside in the lake district The Armitt Museum, Ambleside, South Lakes


an image of a bust of John Ruskin at the Armitt museum in the lake district
John Ruskin by Barbara Collingwood