Miss Potter - SUMMERS in the LAKE DISTRICT

Between 1885 (when she was 19 years old) and 1907, Beatrix Potter and her family spent their summer holidays at Lingholm (and one summer at Fawe Park).  Those two still stand and their estates occupy much of the northwestern side of Derwentwater. Thanks to Simon Ledingham, we have an aerial view of Lingholm.  Potter’s experiences here gave her material for several of her “little books.” License:  CC BY-SA 3.0


The Lake District - one of the most scenic places in Britain - is in the northwest area of the country and features the Cumbrian mountains and many lakes.

Beatrix Potter is not the only writer associated with this part of Britain. So are poets like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey.

Beatrix spent her first summer in the Lake District in 1882. Her father had selected a home - Wray Castle - on the west side of Lake Windermere. The house itself had a legendary history. When the first owner’s wife saw it, she was reportedly aghast at its appearance, refusing to ever live there.

The Potters stayed at Lingholm - situated on the northwest side of Derwentwater - nine times, beginning in 1885, when Beatrix was nineteen. Although the family loved Scotland, Derwentwater was so beautiful that the area was more than just a good substitute.

Beatrix was inspired by the surroundings, the gardens, the atmosphere. The woods around Lingholm were filled with creatures - like the now-endangered red squirrel - and Lingholm’s vegetable garden, with its wicket gate, is featured in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Beatrix summered at Troutbeck with her parents, during 1889 and 1895. A gorgeous home, and the stunning Holehird Gardens, were not the only attraction. Fossils and fungi, from the surrounding woods, provided Beatrix with plenty of things to paint.

During her Lake District days, Beatrix met the vicar of Wray Church - a man who became a profound influence in her life. Hardwicke Rawnsley cared deeply about the peace and tranquility of the Lake District and wanted to preserve it. He and Beatrix discussed what could be done to prevent development from ruining the area’s way of life and its natural beauty.

Rawnsley was also a proponent of the flocks of Herdwick sheep which grazed in the Lake District. His vision - which ultimately became reality when he co-founded the National Trust - was to protect the entire area and its natural environment.

Rupert Potter arranged for his family to summer in Scotland during 1893. It was there, from a house called “Eastwood,” in the town of Dunkeld, where Beatrix wrote her now-famous letter to Noel Moore.

But it was to her friend, Hardwicke Rawnsley, that Beatrix turned when she decided to do something more with Noel’s letter.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Dec 01, 2006

Updated Last Revision: Jul 15, 2019

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"SUMMERS in the LAKE DISTRICT" AwesomeStories.com. Dec 01, 2006. Feb 28, 2020.
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