Old Ambleside

On a recent trip to Ambleside, we found ourselves in the oldest part of the town. A short distance up the steep Kirkstone Road we came across the ancient St Anne’s Chapel. The original building dates from around 1550, although it was deconsecrated and sympathetically converted to a number of private dwellings 20 years ago.

Next to the chapel is How Head, the oldest lived-in building in the town. This also dates from the 16th century. Some of the stones it was built from came from the Galava Roman fort on the outskirts of Ambleside, meaning that they were quarried almost 2,000 years ago. And the wooden beams throughout the building were salvaged from broken up ships on the Cumbrian coast.

This area is one of the quietest parts of the town, yet it is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the thousands of tourists who come to Ambleside each year, oblivious to this little ancient corner.