Armitt Museum and Library

Founded by poets, artists, and writers, the Armitt is the quintessence of the cultural Lakes.

The Armitt is a unique combination of museum, library and gallery devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District.

Mary Louisa Armitt founded the Library to foster an exchange of ideas in the local community. The Library opened in 1912. More than a century later, we continue to support the spirit of enquiry in all that we do.

Beatrix Potter was one of the Armitt’s early supporters, and our collection holds a number of her family’s books as well as her personal first editions of the ‘little’ books. Her major gift however came in the form of a large number of exquisite botanical watercolours. At the centre of our exhibition ‘Beatrix Potter, Image and Reality’, these works reveal fascinating and lesser-known aspects of her life story.

Today, the Armitt is proud to house one of the country’s most important collections of artwork by Kurt Schwitters, who influenced the development of twentieth-century art and lived in Ambleside during his final years. In early 2016, generous support from the V&A Purchase Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, the Friends of the Armitt, and local donors allowed us to acquire a further five wonderful Schwitters paintings from his Ambleside years. All works are now on permanent display.

In our library visitors enjoy browsing the magnificent collection of antiquarian books, manuscripts and other displays. The Armitt is truly one of the rarest treasures of the Lakes.

Address: Rydal Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BL Tel: 015394 31212

1 Apr- 31 Oct, Mon- Sat, 10am- 5pm
1 Nov- 31 Mar, Mon- Sat, 10am-4.30pm

DIRECTIONS: Situated at the northern end of Ambleside, just past the mini roundabout at the bottom of the Kirkstone Pass road.

What’s On:

Click here for information on the latest exhibitions and events

What else is nearby?

Dove Cottage

Holehird Gardens

Brockhole  – the Lake District Visitor Centre

Dogs welcome on leadsGift ShopGroup visitsFacilities for wheelchair users and those with limited mobilityWinter opening and facilities


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