The Armitt Museum’s exhibition for summer 2019 is an exploration of issues surrounding local identity within the heart of our most popular National Park. The valleys of Great and Little Langdale in the Lake District have seen massive social and economic change in the last few generations. While the views remain largely unaltered, the valleys at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries are very different places.
At the opening of the 20thcentury Langdale had a working population employed in the quarries and the gunpowder works as well as on the land. There were 25 farms in the two valleys, those farmers with smaller holdings working part-time in the quarries. At its height before the First World War Little Langdale School had an average of 46 pupils. The development of Langdale as a centre for walking and climbing in the 1930s took up some of the slack left by the closure of the gunpowder works and the fluctuations of the quarrying industry. However, by 1965 only nine school aged children remained in Little Langdale and by the close of the 20thcentury the majority of the houses in Langdale, with the exception of working farms, had been converted to holiday or ‘second’ homes.
Told through photographs and the words of local people, collected by the Ambleside Oral History Group, this is an exhibition about ‘sense of place’, the connection between land and community which is at the root of our sense of identity.
Exhibition runs until 31 October 2019
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 5pm
The Armitt Museum and Library
Rydal Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BL