[I]n the late eighteenth century, the eccentric wealthy bachelor Joseph Pocklington designed three houses for himself around Derwent Water, as well as several follies, creating a triangle of ‘Pocklington views’ around the lake. All of these have defied the archaeologist and illustrator Sir William Gell, who said scathingly ‘his houses are so slightly built…they cannot stand long to be the eye sore of the lake’. On Sunday 10th September, as part of the Heritage Open days, you are welcome to come and have a closer look at one of these ‘eyesores’ for yourself: Barrow Cascade House, now Derwentwater Independent Hostel.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge commented that, in the Pocklington domain, ‘Art beats Nature’, and you will be able to find out more about Pocklington’s audacious architectural activities and landscape alterations on tours of the house and grounds, every half hour, from 12.30 to 4.30pm. The tours will also cover other aspects of Barrow House history, from Fabian Society Summer Schools to Bob Graham’s proprietorship, the evacuees, hydro-electricity, the YHA years, and the impact of Storm Desmond.
There will also be history material on display, activities for children, and refreshments, including cakes and biscuits from different periods of the house’s history. In the Barrow House dining room Pocklington might have eaten Georgian Ratafia Biscuits, the photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot might have sampled Victorian Lemon and Caraway Seed Buns, and the evacuees from Newcastle Central High School might have been treated to rationing recipes such as Eggless Fruitcake. You can try these and others too! The tours and activities are free, but there will be a small charge for refreshments.
More information about the house and the open day can be found on the hostel website www.derwentwater.org and the Heritage Open Day website https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/derwentwater-independent-hostel-barrow-house or by ringing 017687 77246.
Derwentwater Independent Hostel: 017687 77246 Email: [email protected]