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Utopia Britannica

British Utopian Experiments 1325 - 1945

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Nenthead 1692 - 1905
Entire village built 1400ft up on the Pennines to provide accommodation and facilities for miners by the Quaker owned London Lead Mining Company.The company also provided small holdings and carried out experiments in upland farming. Other developments carried out in surrounding villages and at Middleton-in-Teesdale.
GRID REF: NY 782436
REF: Two Centuries of Industrial Welfare. (TCIW) A.Rastrick.

Nenthead Mines
Heritage Centre based at the centre of the Quaker London Lead Mining Company’s operations on Alston Moor. As well as exhibitions and displays they also look after a 200 acre site full of mining remains which are undergoing excavation and restoration. As part of the experience they have re-opened an authentic lead mine for visitors. Also tea room and gift shop.

2001 Opening: every day from 7th April to 31st October, 10.30am to 4.30pm,
Nenthead Mine Heritage Centre, Nenthead, Alston, Cumbria. CA9 3PD

Tel: 01434 382037. Web site : www.npht.com

Garrigill 1798 - 1905
In 1798 London Lead Mining Company purchased the cornmill, I40 acres of ground, two houses, and sundry cottages were built. Experiments were made with smallholding, small cottages being built with up to six acres of enclosed land attached, with additional rights on a fifty-acre pasture. Money and a site were provided for a girls' school, a parsonage, a Wesleyan Chapel and a Primitive Methodist Chapel. A library was built and the salary provided for a curate. Drainage and adequate water supply were provided to the village, and all old property was either pulled down and replaced, or renovated.
GRID REF: NY 746415
REF: (TCIW) A.Rastrick.

Keswick Residential Paradise C1819
Proposal put forward by writer of Lakeland Guidebooks William Green for an "ideal residential paradise stretching from Castlehead to the shores of Derwentwater. To have consisted of 300 houses, church, tavern, concert hall assembly rooms surrounded by trees, parkland and "cascades". The whole scheme was to be patrolled by its own wardens.
REF: Keswick : The Story of a Lake District Town. G.Bott. 1994

Dufton 1825 - 1905
Land purchased by the London Lead Mining Company. An agent's house and smelters' houses were built. Old cottages pulled down and new ones built with running water and gardens. Contributions were made by the company to local schools & churches.
GRID REF: NY 691250
REF: (TCIW) A.Rastrick.

Hilton 1825 - 1905
Hamlet where London Lead Mining Company built cottages with running water and gardens and made contributions to local schools & churches.
GRID REF: NY 733206
REF: (TCIW) A.Rastrick.

Coniston 1872 -
After ‘retiring’ to nearby Brantwood John Ruskin involved himself in the life of the local village. He established The Coniston Working Men’s Institute and Literary Society, The Coniston School of Wood Carving and inspired the setting up of the Langdale Linen Industry
REF: Ruskin Museum Coniston.

The Ruskin Museum Coniston

Displays relating to John Ruskin’s ideas and theories in connection with local trades & pastimes. Houses a comprehensive collection of Lang-dale Linen and Ruskin Lace along with Ruskin’s own drawings, watercolours, letters & personal possessions. Also has exhibits on Donald Campbell and Arthur Ransome.

“ The most thought-provoking museum in the Lakes.”
Rough Guide to the Lake District 2000

Opening hours:
Easter to Mid-Nov. Daily 10.0 -1730.
Mid-Nov to Easter. Wed-Sun 10.30-3.30
The Ruskin Museum. Newdale Rd. Coniston. Cumbria. LA21 8DU
Tel: 015394 41164
Website: www.ruskinmuseum.com

Starnthwaite Home Colony 1892-1901
FOUNDER/LEADER: Herbert V. Mills.
Community based on Starnthwaite mill and the neighbouring 127 acre Browhead Farm. Mills made extravagant claims for his 'co-operative' village, but came into conflict with socialist members early on who disputed his autocratic leadership. Had a good reputation in land reform circles and was known for the quality of its fruit. Quaker craftsman A.W. Simpson from Kendal was involved with the colony after Mills left when it was used for training men sent from workhouses and as a home for epileptic boys.
GRID REF: SD 435922
REF: Alt Com 19th Cent Eng

Derwentwater Tenants Co-partnership 1910 -Present
Twenty-five houses built as a Garden Village known as Greta Hamlet. Tenants were encouraged to take shares & take part in the management of the estate. Largely the idea of local Quaker A.B. Wilson.
GRID REF: NY 265237 Keswick
REF: Villages of Vision/And Sometime Upon the Hills/Keswick . G.Bott. 1994

The Quaker tapestry

Tapestry illustrating 350 years of Quaker history exhibited on 77 panels. Created as a community embroidery project by 4000 women, men & children from 15 countries. There is also a display of Quaker costume and gift shop. The centre runs workshops and courses in embroidery. Details on request.
Open: April - Dec. 10.00 - 1700hrs
The Quaker Tapestry Exhibition Centre.
Friends Meeting House. Stramongate. Kendal. Cumbria. LA9 4BH
Tel: 01539 722975
Website: www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk

Maryport Educational Settlement. C1930s
Set up by the Cumberland Friends’ Quarterly Meeting to provide cultural and educational services to the unemployed - continues as an adult education centre.
GRID REF: (High St above museum)
REF: And Sometime Upon the Hills

Dalston 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF: NY 360500
REF: Colin Ward D&D 94/95

Broadwath 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF: NY479548
REF: Colin Ward D&D 94/95

Crofton 1935 - 82?
Land Settlement Association smallholding scheme. (See Chawston Beds.)
GRID REF: NY301499
REF: Colin Ward D&D 94/95

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Site last updated 3.1.2007