ONE of the Lake District’s most famous buildings and attractions, Bridge House, “the little house in Ambleside”, will reopen on Friday 5 August 2022, and every Thursday to Saturday at 11am and 3pm for ticketed tours during August. It will be the first time the house has been open to visitors since 2019.
The Armitt: Museum, Library, Gallery will be opening Bridge House for ticketed tours every week during August as part of a cultural collaboration with the National Trust. Visitors will be able to find out more about the story of the famous building and its connection with The Armitt’s unique collection. There will also be a small gift shop where people can buy souvenirs and tickets for The Armitt.
Bridge House was originally built in the late 1600s or early 1700s by the Braithwaite family, possibly as an apple store for their home, Ambleside Hall. It is the only surviving building from the estate and has been a major tourist attraction in Ambleside since the early 1800s.
Writers, artists, and photographers – including William Green, Harriet Martineau, Edward Lear, Herbert Bell and Kurt Schwitters – have made countless homages to the house in the last two centuries. It is now one of the most-photographed buildings in the Lake District, featuring in innumerable holiday snaps and Instagram posts every year.
Faye Morrissey, The Armitt’s Manager & Curator says: “We are thrilled to have an opening date for Bridge House and that very soon The Armitt will be carrying forward the story of the building. It is such a special place in the heart of the town, and we look forward to sharing it once again with visitors”.
Laura Ruxton, General Manager for National Trust Central & East Lakes says: ‘By working in partnership with The Armitt, we hope to further share the fascinating history of the Lake District with everyone, and to preserve and conserve buildings like Bridge House for the future. Bridge House was purchased by the local community in 1926 and given to the National Trust and we’re delighted to be working with The Armitt so visitors can enjoy learning more about this little building which holds such a big place in so many people’s hearts.”