Travelling back from the Lakes, it was time for my annual pilgrimage to Mackay Hugh Baillie-Scott’s Lancashire masterpiece, Blackwell near Bowness, Windermere – a truly wonderful house. Below are some of my happy snaps taken on the phone (please forgive the quality).
If you’ve never been before, Blackwell is well worth a visit… the house excels as a beautifully kept ‘walk-in art exhibit’. It is a fantasy house every bit as much as, say, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s House for an Art Lover. I am trying to learn some of the lessons of the excellent crisp presentation at Blackwell, for when I advise my colleagues on the care of Walter Brierley’s house, Hollins Hill, a.k.a. The Haworth, Accrington.
I think Hollins Hill is the only other Arts & Crafts house open to the public in Lancashire (i.e. the old county). If you use the post-1974 county, Hollins Hill is perhaps the only one.
Blackwell is one of a handful of very large Arts & Crafts houses with a two-storey main room. These were something of a design aspiration for Arts & Crafts architects during the years around 1900. Perhaps, I should write a blog on that sometime.