William Taylor Longmire exhibition.

A William Longmire watercolor at Townend

Our first ever art exhibition examines the life and work of William Taylor Longmire through watercolours showing scenic Lakeland views from Windermere and Langdale and further afield.

Set within the historic interior of Townend, the work of this self-taught farmer’s son tells an extraordinary story of Lakeland life, poverty and tourism at the end of the 19th century. 

Born in Troutbeck in 1841, Longmire was expected to follow in his father’s steps and become a farmer but, encouraged to paint by the local vicar, he had set himself up in a studio in Ambleside by the age of thirty, following in the footsteps of William Green and Harriet Martineau.  

Unlike Martineau and Green, Longmire was born and grew up in Westmorland, making him a pioneer in looking beyond a life as a farmer, instead taking advantage of the continued growth in tourism.