The Simpsons: An Arts & Crafts Family

21 September 2018 – 3 March 2019

This exhibition places The Simpsons family in the context of the Arts & Crafts Movement in the Lake District. The exhibition makes links to Simpson craftsmanship throughout Blackwell and presents work by Arthur Simpson, one of the forgotten masters of Arts & Crafts furniture, embroider and leatherworker, Jane Simpson, their daughter Hilda who produced delicate lace-work, and both sons who became apprentices under their father’s guidance.

Arthur Simpson was born in Cumbria in 1857. He showed an early flair for wood-carving, working in London before returning to establish his famous Handicrafts workshop in Windermere. The superb workmanship of his Arts & Crafts furniture, with its clean simple lines, found a ready market locally.

Jane Simpson, despite a lack of prior experience, found herself to be a natural at embroidery. Wanting to be actively involved in the business and with the encouragement of her husband, Jane produced startling embroideries, leatherwork and needlepoint bedspreads inspired by the natural world around her, beautiful in both their simplicity and attention to detail. Their daughter Hilda also produced embroidery, creating delicate lace-work, and both sons became apprentices under their father’s guidance.

This is the first time an exhibition of work by the Simpsons family has been presented at Blackwell.


Image courtesy of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery


Further information
  • Opening Times from 1 November 2017 – 28 February 2018 – House: 10.30am – 4pm; Tea Room: 10am – 4pm. From 1 March – 31 October 2018 – House: 10.30am – 5pm; Tea Room: 10am – 5pm
  • Adult £8.80 (without donation £8.00); Friends, Patrons & Benefactors FREE; Free admission for young people up to the age of 16 and full-time students over; National Art Pass 50% discount
  • Location Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria LA23 3J
  • Getting there by car From the south: Exit the M6 at junction 36 and follow signs for the South Lakes and Windermere. At the roundabout take the first left following signs for Crook and Bowness-on-Windermere on the B5284. After 6 miles arrive at a T-junction, turn left on to the A5074 (Lyth Valley Road). Turn right where the road forks onto the B5360.  Follow the drive to Blackwell’s car park. From the north: Exit the M6 at junction 40 and follow signs for Keswick (A66) and Windermere (A591) via Grasmere and Ambleside. Once in Windermere follow signs for Bowness-on-Windermere. Once in Bowness-on-Windermere follow the road to Blackwell which is situated just off the A5074 (Lyth Valley Road) and turn right where the road forks onto the B5360. Follow the drive to Blackwell’s car park. By train: Oxenholme is the nearest main-line railway station, a connecting train will bring you into Windermere (three miles from Blackwell). Buses run to Bowness-on-Windermere, 1½ miles north of Blackwell. Alternatively taxis are available from Windermere Station to Blackwell
  • For more information please call 015394 46139