#39 Armitt Museum

My name is Alice Kershaw and I would like to adopt the Armitt Museum.

The Armitt Museum (Photograph courtesy of Zoe Dawes)

The Armitt Museum (Photograph courtesy of Zoe Dawes)


Tell us a bit more about yourself

I am a Heritage Regeneration Officer in Peterborough, working to advocate for the heritage organisations here, to help with asset regeneration and fundraising and to raise the capacity of the sector in its widest sense.

Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
The Armitt Museum is based in Ambleside in the Lake District in England. In its broadest sense it is the museum of the Lake District and originally intended as an academic resource, and the basis of it is the collection of Mary Armitt, it was founded in 1909. It has a lovely library covering all Lake District subjects, both natural and built heritage. The collections in the modest gallery space cover a modernist art, archaeological finds such as hand axes and Beatrix Potter sketches amongst many other aspects and it has a changing exhibition series. Predominantly volunteer run, there is a small fee to look around.

Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
I have chosen to adopt this museum because despite the fact it is small I always make an effort to go and visit it when I am on holiday in the Lake District. The level of quality in exhibitions and collection is extremely high, and for such a compact space it really bats above its weight in terms of excellence and ambition. It is an importance resource for researchers and illuminates aspects of the Lake District that are unjustifiably lesser known, such as Beatrix Potters watercolours of biological specimens. Alongside this the staff and volunteers are very helpful and friendly to the lay person and are happy to answer queries.

Why would you recommend people visit?
As evidenced by its name the Lake District can be a very rainy place, and the Armitt Museum can provide a great spot for a visitor to while away a few hours when the fells are too wet to walk on. It has nationally important but little known collections, and the breadth of them means there really is something for everyone. If you think Beatrix Potter just wrote about rabbits, this will enlighten you, and if you think the Lake District only produced landscape painters the work of modernist artist Kurt Schwitters shows what an inspiring place it is for all artists. They even have interactives for children.

How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Inspiring Miscellany Excellent

(Image source: Photograph courtesy of Zoe Dawes from The Quirky Traveller)

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