The Armitt will be having a special opening on Tuesday 8th November 2022, to celebrate its 110th anniversary.

Instead of paying normal admission of £6.00 for an annual adult ticket, visitors can explore the museum and library by providing a donation amount of their choosing when they enter. There will also be a one-day art trail around the building.

The Armitt first opened on Friday 8th November 1912 as a subscription reference library, according to the will of Mary Louisa Armitt, who died in 1911. It was the first library created in Ambleside, and its collection comprised the libraries of the Armitt sisters, John Ruskin’s library, and the collection of the Ambleside Book Society.

The Armitt was formerly opened by WF Rawnsley, brother of Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley who co-founded the National Trust. The organisation’s first trustees included Annie Armitt, Mary Louisa’s sister, and William Heelis, the husband of writer Beatrix Potter.

Beginning with 1,400 books, The Armitt collection has now expanded to over 75,000 objects. These include 300 fungi watercolours by Beatrix Potter, the archives of educator Charlotte Mason, and artefacts excavated from the Ambleside Roman Fort.

Visitors can explore the current exhibitions on Beatrix Potter and outdoor activities in the Lake District, browse the library shelves and follow the one-day art trail, in exchange for a donation. The Armitt will be open from 10:30am to 4:30pm, according to its winter opening hours.

“On this day, we would like to acknowledge the existence of The Armitt for 110 years and thank all those who have helped to support it over this time”, said Faye Morrissey, the Manager & Curator. “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors and helping them to explore our current exhibitions, as well as spotlighting some items in the collection that have been recently acquired or are usually in store through a one-day art trail.”

Tickets and donations for Tuesday 8th November can be booked online in advance via The Armitt’s website, or by calling 015394 31212.

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