Lakeland Arts unveiled Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories ahead of its public opening on Saturday 23 March .
Located within the Lake District National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the £20m museum has been designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke and principally funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The new museum tells the story of 200-years of boats, boating and boat building in the Lake District through its internationally significant collection that reflect themes of technical, social and business development in one of England’s most picturesque settings.
Windermere Jetty is one of the first contemporary buildings to be constructed on the shores of Windermere in over 50 years. A cluster of seven buildings, the new museum is clad in copper with sculptural silhouettes that frame stunning views of England’s largest lake.
A series of new jetties on the lake allow visitors to sail on Osprey (1902), one of the museum’s fully-restored Edwardian steam launches and enables the regular lake cruise boats to dock and bring visitors to the museum. With spectacular panoramic views onto the lake, the new lakeside café offers visitors traditional Lakeland recipes with a contemporary twist, showcasing the incredible local ingredients that Cumbria has to offer.
Owned by Lakeland Arts, the collection of over 40 vessels is the only one of its kind in the world. For the first time over half of the collection, which ranges from Victorian steam launches to record-breaking speedboats from the 1980s, has gone on display. Vessels in the collection include SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world, Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat which she used to sketch in, and the 50-foot luxuriously-designed Victorian steam launch Branksome (1896).
Rhian Harris, Chief Executive of Lakeland Arts said: “Our Design Team have created an extraordinary museum which connects visitors with the collection, to the lake and with the wider Lake District landscape telling the incredible stories of those to whom Windermere has been so important.”