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Brockhole House and Garden

Welcome to Brockhole House and Gardens, a beautiful lakeside Arts and Crafts villa set in extensive grounds on the shores of Windermere, in the Lake District.

Plan a trip to Brockhole, The Lake District Visitor Centre and enjoy a stroll through beautiful, historic gardens and head towards the lake shore; discover our art gallery, gift shop and exhibitions. The choice is yours...

A little bit of history - Dan Gibson and Thomas Mawson

Brockhole house was built at the end of the 19th century, as a holiday home for a wealthy silk merchant William Gaddum and his wife Edith (née) Potter, cousin to Beatrix Potter. Designed by architect Dan Gibson with stunning gardens created by the renowned landscape designer Thomas Mawson. Brockhole is one of the lesser known Arts & Crafts treasures of Cumbria, but one you should certainly put on your 'Lake District historic houses and gardens' must visit list.

Stunning view

William Gaddum couldn’t have selected a better plot of land for his ‘summer house’. Set high on the terraced gardens, the house has spectacular views of Windermere and Langdale Pikes, Pike of Stickle and Harrison Stickle beyond (below).


Designers Gibson and Mawson proved to be a perfect partnership. Mawson saying, “Gibson was entirely responsible for the design of the house… while I arranged the terraces, gardens, entrance drives and plantations”. Together they created a perfect example of an Arts & Crafts house and garden – a home integrated harmoniously and beautifully in its environment.

Gibson was entirely responsible for the design of the house… while I arranged the terraces, gardens, entrance drives and plantations

- Renowned landscape designer Thomas Mawson

Brockhole has undergone many changes since the Gaddum family sold it in 1946 and since it was a rural convalescent home for Merseyside Hospital Board.

The Lake District National Park Authority purchased the house and grounds in 1966, opening it in 1969 as the UK’s first National Park Visitor Centre. Some of the most significant development and restoration at Brockhole has taken place over recent years with the opening of The Gaddum Gallery in 2016, The Gaddum Restaurant in 2018 and the start of the Brockhole Kitchen Garden restoration in 2018.

Brockhole today is just as stunning as it has always been and continues to attract visitors from across the country and worldwide, experiencing everything we have to offer as part of the beautiful Lake District National Park - a listed UNESCO World Heritage site in 2017.

Brockhole the Lake District Visitor Centre

Brockhole House and Garden Timeline

  • 1896: William Henry Adolphus Gaddum, a silk merchant from Manchester purchased the 30 acre site.
  • 1897: William Gaddum commissioned architect Dan Gibson to design him a ‘summer house’ in the now fashionable Lake District. 
  • 1899: William, his wife Edith Potter (cousin to Beatrix Potter) and children, Jim and Molly, moved into the Brockhole. Beatrix Potter was a frequent visitor to the house and she refers to Brockhole in her Journals.
  • 1946: The Gaddum family sold the house when William died.
  • 1948: Merseyside Hospital Board purchased Brockhole and converted it into a convalescent home.
  • 1966: The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) purchased Brockhole. 
  • 1969: The LDNPA opened Brockhole as the UK’s first National Park Visitor Centre.  In its first month (June) it had 40,000 visitors. 
  • 1998: We carried out a major refurbishment with Heritage Lottery grant funding.  
  • 2016: The Gaddum Gallery was opened.
  • 2018: The Gaddum Restaurant was opened.
  • 2019: The ongoing Kitchen Garden project opened to the public.
  • 2020: Bee's were introduced to the Kitchen Garden