Image of John Ruskin


John Ruskin was born in London on 8 February 1819. He was one of the greatest figures of the Victorian age, poet, artist, critic, social revolutionary and conservationist. Ruskin made his first visit to Keswick in 1824, when he was 5 years old, and the memorial erected at Friars Crag after his death by the efforts of Canon Rawnsley, reminds us that 'the first thing I remember as an event in life was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar's Crag on Derwentwater'.

That first view of Friar's Crag made a deep impression on the five year old boy, and years later he described the incident as 'the creation of the world for me'. After a brief stay in Keswick in 1826, the family came for a three week holiday in the Lakes in 1830. After a trip from Windermere to Hawkshead and Coniston, he wrote is experiences in Iteriad, a poem of 2310 lines which were highly competent for a boy of 11.

Ruskin died at Brantwood of influenza on 20 Jan 1900, and is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew's Church in Coniston. His grave is marked with a large carved cross made from green slate from the local quarry at Tilberthwaite. It was designed by W.G. Collingwood, who was an expert on Anglo-Saxon crosses, with symbols depicting important aspects of Ruskin's work and life.
(Taken from visitcumbria website:

The cafe-bar is situated in the heart of the town centre, which makes it a great place to sit and people watch! Ruskins resides in the Kendal Liberal Club building; an old working mans club where gentlemen would used to play cards, dominoes, billiards, pool and snooker. The building is still owned by the Liberal Club but is leased out to a local blacksmith who now owns the bar. The bar remains true to its heritage and has a pool table in the back bar and also includes access to two professional snooker tables (subject to Liberal Club membership).

We at Ruskins feel proud to name our business after one of the great men of the Victorian age who appreciated the beauty of the Lake District and Cumbria. We try to keep his rich legacy alive by displaying the works and creations of local artists in our establishment. Currently we have an exhibition held by the Kendal Arts Community. Please feel free to come in and take a look. You can also visit the Exhibition Page to view current and previous artworks.