Townend is a National Trust property in Troutbeck, between Ambleside and Bowness. that was occupied by the same family, the Brownes, for over 400 years. It’s a very typical Lakeland farmhouse built of rendered stone with a slate roof. It has the very distinctive, large, round chimney stacks that we saw all around the south Lakes and which were a way of showing off wealth (a bit like having a BMW parked on the drive these days – swanking off to the neighbours)
It has a very pleasant, small, cottage style garden
with an interesting wooden gate
Across the road there’s a traditional Lakeland Bank Barn.
It’s still a working farm building so isn’t open to visitors.
Access to Twnend is by guided tour in the morning – you collect a coloured clothes peg from the front door to book your place on the tour, if they’re all gone the tour is full. Visitors can self tour during the afternoons. It’s not a big property. Although it was the home of a relatively prosperous family of yeoman farmers it’s not exactly a manor house.
The original house was extended in the 1620’s. The extension, called the “Down House” because it’s lower down than the main building, is on the right when facing the front of the house. The older, main, part being known as the “Fire House”.
It was quite dark inside. These houses had thick walls and small windows and relied on expensive candles for lighting. And the furniture was dark oak. One of the later Brownes was, to say the least, a rather enthusiastic carver and has made his mark (literally!) throughout the house.
The Brownes were very well read and self educated and collected an impressive library which is being preserved by the National Trust