The Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam & Stories is due to open this weekend, following a £20m development by Lakeland Arts and architect Carmody Groarke.
Largely funded by the National Lottery and located within the Lake District National Park and Unesco World Heritage Site, the museum will display a collection of 200 years of boats that reflect themes of technical, social and business development.
Windermere Jetty is one of the first buildings to be constructed on the shores of Windermere in over 50 years. It is made up of a cluster of seven buildings clad in oxidised copper, as well as a series of new jetties on the lake to allow visitors to sail on Osprey, one of the museum’s fully-restored Edwardian steam launches, as well as enabling the regular lake cruise boats to dock and bring visitors to the museum.
The collection includes Victorian steam launches, record-breaking speedboats from the 1980s, SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world, and Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat which she used to sketch in.
Windermere Jetty is on the site of the former Windermere Steamboat Museum, which was founded in 1977. Prior to that the site was used as a sand and gravel works.
Rhian Harris, chief executive of Lakeland Arts said: “Our design team have created an extraordinary museum which connects visitors with the collection, to the lake and with the wider Lake District landscape telling the incredible stories of those to whom Windermere has been so important.”
Heritage Lottery Fund is the major funder for the museum, contributing over £13m. The project was also supported by the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, Regional Growth Fund, the Rural Development Programme for England and other trusts and foundations.
Click any image to launch gallery. All photography by Christian Richter