Langdale Pikes from Loughrigg

Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry

Abbot Hall

Tel:- 01539 722464

Situated next door to Abbot Hall Art Gallery, close to the River Kent and Kendal Parish church, The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry explores the unique customs and traditions of the Lake District and surrounding areas, by recreating the lives of the ordinary people that lived and worked here.

Since the Lake District is a far from ordinary area of the country, so this rural museum is very different to others of it's kind. It reflects the way in which the local population of 250 years ago earned their living using the region's natural resources. Displays show the importance of a wide range of materials, from wool and leather to precious metals and minerals, and explores the lives of the region's craftspeople.

There is a wide range of exhibits, including mock ups of Victorian shops in a faithfully recreated Victorian street scene, Victorian style room mock ups and, by contrast, a coal mine.

The Lake District is forever linked with the development of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the latter part of the 19th century, and a special display highlights this. It includes examples of metalwork by the Keswick School of Industrial Art, woodwork by Simpsons of Kendal and Stanley Webb Davies, and textiles from Annie Garnett’s workshop in Bowness.

A further special display covers the life and work of childrens' author Arthur Ransome, including original sketches, manuscripts and photographs from his private collection.

Local newspaper photographer Joseph Hardman took many thousands of pictures of local scenes during the his career in the 1940's and 50's and many of his pictures are on show, along with those from an earlier era.

Potted History

The museum is situated in what used to be the stable block of Abbot Hall. It was opened at the same time as the Art Gallery in 1962, using items and artefacts donated by local residents to start it's collection. Over the years it has received acclaim for the diversity of it's displays.

It is affectionately known locally as "Molli".


The Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry is owned and operated by Lakeland Arts, one of the most significant arts and heritage organisations in the North of England with a national and international reputation for the quality of its historic buildings, museum and gallery collections and programming. Also owned and operated by Lakeland Arts are:-

Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Kendal

Blackwell Arts and Crafts House, Bowness.

Windermere Jetty

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