Skip to content
Skip to content

Letters from London

Delve into the Townend archive collection through these fascinating personal letters.

  • Booking not needed
  • Free event

Explore snippets of Ben Browne’s life in the 1700’s, following his relocation from the Lake District to London, captured in letters sent to his father ‘Old Ben’ over a 20-year period.

From the excitement of moving to the fast-paced big city, to concerns about his unfashionable clothes and the cost of living, to missing his mother’s cooking, the notes written by ‘Young Ben’ describe the experiences of a young person moving away from home to make their own way in the world.

This rare series of letters offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives and social position of an ordinary farming family, the Brownes, who lived at Townend in Troutbeck Valley for more than 400 years. See the original volume of letters on display alongside the original belongings of the family inside this typical Lake District slate-and-stone farmhouse.

The exhibition is included with standard admission. Free bookable tours, available from 3pm daily, can be booked in advance and include the display.


The basics


Children must be accompanied by an adult.


Designated mobility car park spaces and drop-off point. Access to cottage garden via a steep slope. Many small steps in the house, including a step at the entrance.


You can choose from two different types of visit to Townend; From 10am until 3pm the house can be accessed through self-led, free flow visits. Last entry for free-flow visits is 2.30pm. Non bookable. Guided tours at 3pm each day. Tickets for the guided tours can be booked online two weeks in advance.