The Knoll was commissioned by Harriet Martineau in 1847, a formidable Victorian political economist, feminist and campaigner, whom came to Ambleside to convalesce. In Ambleside she found a different world. "The mountains, by their conservative influence," she says, "have here hedged in a piece of old English life, such as is to be found nowhere else within the island. Martineau wrote the most influential of the guides to the Lake District. In her typical and thorough fashion she had, in a few months, driven everywhere and checked everything in order to supply the busy tourist with all the information they needed. But it is this journal of her first year in her new-found home that offers her finest descriptive writing. The scenery is new to her. Her daily walks and excursions reveal new delights and she writes about what she sees with the enthusiasm of someone who has found their paradise. But there was much to attract her. The scenery drew forth ecstatic descriptions from her: " the stream , the Stock, goes leaping, gurgling and gushing down, overhung by trees and tormented by rocks in its channel, till it passes under the road."
When she decided to make her home here, she advisedly chose a site on a knoll, a small hillock near the river with commanding views across the valley. Harriet designed The Knoll, employing local tradesmen to create what her friend "Wordsworth described as being ’the wisest step of her life, for the value of the property will be doubled in ten years’. In Ambleside she found a different world. "The mountains, by their conservative influence," she says, "have here hedged in a piece of old English life, such as is to be found nowhere else within the island. Harriet began the most productive writing years of her life in Ambleside, inspired by the beautiful views from The Knoll and by the visitors that attended, established writers themselves. It is said that Harriet often entertained her companions by holding annual tea and dinner parties, whereby each guest would plant two trees in the grounds, the gardens now lush with firs and other species planted by the likes of Wordsworth and Coleridge and the Bronte sisters. The gardens are now formed by a wood to the side of the property and a beautiful woodland garden to the front with many colourful ericaceous trees and plants.
The interior of The Knoll is very grand and demonstrates such a keen eye for detail and design. The current owner has taken great care to furnish the building with quality pieces and rich colours and fabrics to inspire her 21st Century guests, although never far from mind, is the greatly admired Harriet, without whom this wonderful holiday home would never exist. Now a grade II listed building, the interior of the knoll with its grand sweeping staircase, bold colourful design and sumptuous furnishings reflect the property’s history and tradition.
For guests at the knoll the location benefits from both beautiful views towards Loughrigg, feeling in the heart of the lakeland countryside, but just a few minutes walk from the centre of Ambleside where you will find shops, restaurants and bars within a 5 minute stroll.
There is a garage plus 2 further parking spaces to the front of the knoll, but many guests decide to leave their car for the duration of their stay and enjoy the many walks that are accessible from the property.
1 The Knoll which forms part of Harriet Martineau’s Former residence comprises:
Ground Floor: The Knoll, has gas fired central heating and comprises a wonderfully comfortable home from home, comprising:
Grand entrance hallway leading to:-
Lounge: with beautiful bay window overlooking Loughrigg, accommodating a dining area. A large ornate fireplace with real flame gas fire, Smart TV with full catch up TV and DVD player, guests can link in their own Netflix account.
Conservatory: with underfloor heating in the heart of the gardens with a further dining table, comfortable seating and TV.
Kitchen: Fully fitted well equipped kitchen with built in oven, second combination/microwave oven, gas hob, washer/dryer, fridge/freezer and dishwasher.
Cloakroom: With WC and hand basin.
First Floor: Bedroom 1: Master bedroom with king size bed, built in wardrobe, TV/DVD and window seat with views towards Loughrigg. En suite with ’heritage’ shower cubicle, hand basin, WC and heated towel rail.
Bedroom 2: With double bed with views towards Loughrigg, TV/DVD.
Bedroom 3: With twin beds and TV/ DVD.
Bathroom: With quality ’heritage’ fittings comprising bath, separate shower, hand basin and WC.
All gas, electric and quality bed linen included. Cot and highchair available. Wifi available.Outside: Large gardens to the side and rear with two patios and lots of seating areas with garden furniture. Private parking for one car in garage, and two cars to bays in the front of the property. Please note: Due to the layout of the ornate gardens, this property is only suitable for either ’babes in arms’ or children over the age of 6 years old, unless strictly supervised.