As part of the national Heritage Open Days, Derwentwater Independent Hostel (Barrow House) will be hosting free tours of the house from 12.30 to 5pm on Sunday 22nd September.
Barrow House is a Grade II listed Georgian mansion that was built for Joseph Pocklington in 1787. The house overlooks Derwent Water, with a beautiful waterfall cascading through the grounds and a veteran Yew tree believed to be over 700 years old. The yew tree is included by Ken Mills in his 27 most important yew tree sites in Cumbria, detailed in his book ‘The Cumbrian Yew Book’.
Guided tours of the house will be running throughout the afternoon, approximately every half hour from 12.30 pm. There will also be historical material on display, refreshments from different periods, and activities for children. Red squirrels can often be seen behind the house, scampering near the waterfall. The house has been a hostel for individuals, groups and families since 1961, but many of the original Georgian features remain, including fireplaces and ornate ceiling mouldings.
This year we have a new hostel quiz, an image hunt, and a tree trail, helping you to explore the house and grounds more thoroughly. These are suitable for children as well as adults. The tree trail takes you to a mixture of native and non-native trees, demonstrating the rich natural history of Borrowdale (known as the Borrowdale Rainforest!) and the influence of wealthy landowners in introducing exotic species for ornamentation.
You might also be interested in the open day at YHA Borrowdale, a few miles down the road. They are celebrating 80 years of being a youth hostel, and have an exhibition about their history and the wider history of the youth hostel movement, as well as tours of the building at 14.30 and 15.30. You could combine the two for a full day of hostel history.
More information about the house and the open day can be found on the website www.derwentwater.org and https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/derwentwater-independent-hostel-barrow-house or by ringing 017687 77246.