Allan Bank: a space to relax and enjoy the landscape.

A view of Allan Bank from the outside

Once home to William Wordsworth and Hardwicke Rawnsley, Allan Bank has a rich history, but it isn’t a traditional National Trust property. There’s no collection here, and the building is only partially decorated after a fire in 2011, but by leaving the building as an empty shell, it focuses the eye on the most significant feature of Allan Bank- its landscape.

About Allan Bank 

Nestled on the fellside, with panoramic views over Grasmere lake lies Allan Bank, a place with an intriguing history, fascinating former residents and plenty of stories to tell.

This Georgian villa plays a remarkable role in the history of the conservation movement. Between 1808 and 1811 Allan Bank was home to William Wordsworth, one of the most famous of the romantic poets and pioneer of the conservation movement, believing in the importance of the Lake District landscape and the need to protect it. During his time at Allan Bank, Wordsworth began his ‘Guide to the Lakes’ where he first introduced the idea of ‘a sort of national property’ long before the idea of national parks.

Over 100 years after Wordsworth, Allan Bank became home to Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founding members of the National Trust. Rawnsley was a passionate campaigner for conservation and one of his aims was for the whole of society to have the right to access the countryside. Allan Bank was given to the National Trust in 1959 by Eleanor Rawnsley. The property isn’t a traditional National Trust property, there is no historic furniture or collection to see and after it was damaged in a fire in 2011 it became a space to relax and enjoy the landscape.

Things to do 

Hidiyuki Sobe: A Letter to the Earth from Beatrix

This year Allan Bank hosts a new mural commission by Japanese artist Hideyuki Sobue. Painted on the formerly fire damaged walls of the entrance hall, the murals will celebrate Beatrix Potter’s complex relationship with the Lake District, and her legacy in the wider conservation movement.

The project begain with the staircase mural which features natural motifs, trees, branches and leaves, painted on a bright yellow background on a giant scale, ascending up the central staircase and onto the first floor landing. You may be able to watch Hideyuki in action using his distinctive and painstaking brush technique.

Once this is completed, Hidiyuki will move onto the second mural. This will be painted at ground floor level and will show a new portrait of Beatrix Potter developed by the artist especially for this space.

In Autumn 2022 the exhibition, will be completed with a suite of over 20 of Hideyuki’s smaller paintings.

Allan Bank garden in spring.

Daffodils bloom as the garden comes alive in springtime. Hear the birds sing as you wander the garden paths, watch the blossom awaken and watch the lambs in the field as you enjoy the views down to the lake. The rugged woodland path takes you winding through the trees above.  Pick up one of the FSC spotter guides to see what you can find.

Relax and unwind

With its bay windows and tranquil grounds, Allan Bank is a place to find peace and relaxation. Help your self to a tea or coffee and unwind by watching the red squirrels scamper on the lawns, grab a book from the second hand bookshop or enjoy the garden room.

Arts and Crafts

Unleash your creativity at Allan Bank in our art room. We have a range of supplies available to purchase, as well as pencils and paper freely available and you are welcome to bring your own to capture the vistas through the windows or take inspiration from Hidiyuki’s artwork.