Nanny Brow

An Arts & Crafts Masterpiece

Nanny Brow

History of the house

The house is an Arts & Crafts gem built in 1904 by the distinguished architect Francis Whitwell.

Whitwell, who practiced with Guy Dawber in London, was a fellow of RIBA and later came to Ambleside to build his family home. Built using traditional Lakeland stone on the solid rock of Nanny Brow, this imposing country house boasts of many subtle features so characteristic of the Arts & Crafts movement including gentle motifs of animals and flowers in the plasterwork, oak paneling and leaded oak picture windows facing the valley and the hills.

The house itself sits high above the Brathay Valley. The house faces South West, looking towards the head of the Langdales, with Wrynose Pass in the far distance. One side of the house faces South East towards Brathay Church and in the direction of Lake Windermere, while the other side faces the gardens and over to Ivy Crag. The crag that the house sits on is called Nanny Brow Crag, hence the name of the property. As the only settlement on the crag we felt it was important to retain the name. When constructing the building it must have been no mean feat for the civil engineers to create access, gardens and a platform for the house to nestle into the rock face.

Sue and Peter have researched and uncovered the origins of Nanny Brow and have compiled a book which is available to all guests, that explores the history of this Arts and Crafts gem. Architectural drawing, photos and painting can be found hanging on the walls including a copy of Whitwell’s detailed painting which depicts the house he wanted to build before searching for the land in which to build on.

Rooms & Suites

Dream the night away in any of our individually designed rooms. Comfortable king beds and armchairs with flat screen television, complimentary Wi-Fi and hot drinks tray, all designed to relax the senses.


Come and enjoy the Lake District

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