The Bridge House in  Ambleside has stood over Stock Beck  for  400 years.


The Bridge House 17th century Ambleside oddball Lake District National Trust

The Bridge House ©HelenBushe


The growth of old Ambleside is associated with a succession of families dating back to the early 14th century. The Braithwaites were an incredibly influential family and originally built Bridge House to access their lands on the other side of Stock Beck* and also to store apples from their orchards, which surrounded Bridge House. – National Trust


The Bridge House 17th century Ambleside lake District National Trust

The Bridge House 2 ©HelenBushe


A 17th-century survivor

It’s pretty spectacular that Bridge House has survived throughout the centuries as Ambleside has changed and developed around it.

Its survival could be down to its many practical uses over the decades which include being used as a counting house for the mills of Rattle Ghyll**, a tea-room, a weaving shop, a cobbler’s, a chair maker’s and, at one time, a home to a family of eight! – National trust


*a stream running through a Ghyll is often called a Beck.

**a Ghyll or Gill is a ravine or narrow valley in the North of England.

It’s usually impossible to get a photograph of The Bridge House without it covered in people as it’s a very popular backdrop for selfies. The trick is to get there early and on a day when the temperatures are in the minus quantities as they were last week.


 Ghylls, Becks and a 17th Century Bridge House are quaint, quirky and historical.

Are they OddBall enough for Cee’s OddBall Challenge I wonder?????


RPL · 17 May 2017 at 12:19

I had been to Ambleside twice for camping holiday but never seen this. This is cool. Next time I have to find it 😀

    HMB · 20 May 2017 at 17:20

    Right in the middle of town, though usually draped with tourists.

Laurie Graves · 10 May 2017 at 13:37

P.S. I’ve decided to use this bridge house as a model for a bridge house in “Library Lost,” the book I’m currently working on. It will be in Chapter 10. 😉

    HMB · 10 May 2017 at 21:49

    How exciting!Keep me posted!

      Laurie Graves · 10 May 2017 at 22:08

      Will do! I’ve been running over some scenes in my mind.

        HMB · 11 May 2017 at 07:37

paulfraser11 · 3 May 2017 at 20:40

You did well to take these without ‘people’ Helen. I always think back to when I thought this house was built over the Beck to avoid paying the ‘Land’ taxes of the time, as it was over water and not land, it was void from charge :)) It’s a romantic notion which I can’t remember where I picked it up from 🙂

    HMB · 3 May 2017 at 20:59

    Hey, maybe that was the reason. The version I’ve given us the “official” National Trust one. I like your notion much better.

Amy · 3 May 2017 at 13:31

Such a beautiful photo capture of this special stone bridge house! 🙂

    HMB · 3 May 2017 at 18:46

    Thank you Amy. It is such an unusual house. I’m pleased you think so too.

Laurie Graves · 3 May 2017 at 12:58

Oddball? Perhaps. Quaint? Most definitely! Looks like a storybook house. What is it used for now?

    HMB · 3 May 2017 at 18:55

    It’s owned by the charity National Trust. They have bought up a lot of historical buildings, stately homes, ancient woodland etc which they take care of on behalf of the nation. A National Trust guide is in the Bridge house for a few hours each day. They are there to give out information about the NT properties as well as encourage membership. Tourists are so keen to step inside the tiny downstairs room that there is usually a queue outside. It’s well worth joining the National Trust as there are so many amazing properties all around UK you get into for nothing once you are a member.

      Laurie Graves · 4 May 2017 at 13:42

      Yes, yes! If ever I come to England…

        HMB · 5 May 2017 at 17:07

        Not “if” , say “when”

cwaugh212 · 2 May 2017 at 20:37

Two great shots. I like how you can see the blue sky in the second shot, including the reflections in the windows.

    HMB · 2 May 2017 at 20:59

    Thank you Charles. And well spotted about the reflections…..I hadn’t noticed !

whippetwisdom · 2 May 2017 at 19:28

Wonderful images Helen, so nice to see this area when it is quiet ☺

    HMB · 2 May 2017 at 19:32

    Hi Xenia. You’ve obviously visited Ambleside so you know what it’s like. We were en route to Borrowdale and stopped there for lunch in (veggie) Zeffirelli’s .

Cee Neuner · 2 May 2017 at 18:57

Now this is a very cool house. 😀

    HMB · 2 May 2017 at 19:09

    It is isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

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