Friday, 22 January 2016

Claife Station...

In 1778 Thomas West published his Guide to the Lakes, listing the best ‘stations and viewpoints’, from which visitors could appreciate the formal qualities of the landscape. These stations weren’t just points printed on a map; they existed ‘on the ground’ as well. At Claife Station, for example, above the western shore of Windermere, was a two-storey lodge commanding fine views across the lake.

Visitors could enjoy the views by looking through the bow windows in the drawing room. In an effort to ‘improve’ on Nature, and imitate the seasons, each pane of glass was a different colour. Light green glass represented spring, yellow was for summer and orange for autumn, while light blue gave the scene the chilly hues of winter. A dark blue window bathed the scene in ‘moonlight’; another had a liliac tinge to suggest a thunderstorm!

Claife Station had been in a ruinous state as long as I could remember, but the National Trust has recently restored it, adding a café closer to the lake. The lodge has been consolidated, rather than rebuilt, with a new metal floor allowing visitors to climb upstairs and enjoy the view (more panoramic now, with the removal of some trees). The windows are framed by panes of coloured glass, to recall the original purpose of the station. The restoration looks pretty good to me…

No comments:

Post a Comment