The Ruskin Museum

A small local museum in Coniston.

Old Man Coniston

The Ruskin Museum was founded as Coniston’s permanent memorial to its most famous resident, John Ruskin, who died on 20 January 1900. The museum is an award-winning ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, which tells the story of Coniston from the first Stone Age fell-walkers, who made and traded stone axes, to the ‘jet era’ when the 1950s speed-ace Donald Campbell used Coniston Water as Bluebird K7’s race-track.

Ruskin Museum

Coniston is also swallows and Amazons country. Arthur Ransome fictionalised the lake and The Old Man, borrowed Peel Island’s secret harbour for Wild Cat Island and ‘SY Gondola’ for Captain Flint’s houseboat, and used the copper-wines and slate-quarries as the context for Pigeon Post. His readers will discover in the museum the sailing dinghy Mavis, the inspiration of the fictional Amazing, complete with centreboard.