The Ruskin Museum, Coniston, Cumbria

The Ruskin Museum

Telling the Story of Coniston Since 1901

Tel: 01539 441164

Opening Times and Find the Ruskin Museum

News and Events

From Coniston to the Kremlin: Arthur Ransome’s Russian Adventures

Saturday 3 June until Sunday 3 September 2017

Arthur Ransome is best known today as the author of Swallows and Amazons, the classic children’s series that captures an idyllic childhood. But, in his autobiography, he admits that he felt he had lived through ‘snatches of a dozen lives’. One of the most tumultuous and stirring ‘lives’ was from 1917 and 1924, when, as a young Romantic, he worked in Russia as the correspondent for the Daily News and the Manchester Guardian. The British Establishment viewed him equivocally, uncertain of his loyalties because of his intimacy with the leaders of the Russian Revolutions. A witness to the early Revolutionary days, and fluent, though self-taught, in Russian, he gained regular access to Lenin and Trotsky. He played chess with them, chatted informally – and fell in love with Trotsky’s secretary. At the same time, he stayed in close contact with MI6. Result ? Nobody trusted him.

Discover this much less familiar ‘life’ in this special exhibition at The Ruskin Museum, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of Ransome’s death on 3 June 1967, and the Centenary of the Russian Revolutions, whose ripples are still felt across the world.

Remember: Coniston residents are admitted free.

Discover more about Arthur Ransome’s Russian Adventures...

Dedication of Engraved Glass Screen in memory of Donald Campbell

Where? St Andrew’s Church

When? Father’s Day, 18 June 2017, at 12 noon

This memorial, marking the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s death on 4 January 1967, has been commissioned – and paid for – by the members of the Speed Record Club.

How many of you reading this were present at the original memorial service, in St Andrew’s, a few days after the crash? Please add your memories to The Ruskin Museum FaceBook page.

Bill Smith Fires Up Bluebird's Orpheus Engine

Bill Smith and the Bluebird restoration team fired up its replacement Orpheus engines inside Bluebird K7's hull for the first time on Saturday 5th November operating the engine from the controls on the instrument panel.

This momentus event was filmed by the BBC. If you missed the broadcast or would like to see it again please follow the links from

This is a significant milestone in Bluebird's restoration and absolutely not to be missed!

New Donald Campbell Learning Resource

A new downloadable learning resource for schools; "Donald Campbell: A Coniston Hero" aimed at KS1 & KS2, but also useful for KS3 & KS4 has been added to our Who Was Donald Campbell? page.

A Lego Bluebird K7!

A fabulous Lego Bluebird K7 made by Ben, aged 11, over the weekend following a family visit to The Ruskin Museum on 7th April 2016 has also been added to our Who Was Donald Campbell? page.

Cultural Guides Added to Education Page

Four brand new Cumbrian cultural guides have just been added to our Education Page:

Blubird's Sponsons Arrive at the Ruskin Museum

Bill Smith and the Bluebird Project Team have delivered and installed Bluebird K7's two replicated sponsons, two original conserved and reconfigured spars and some original conserved and reconfigured fairings and sat them on the 'footprint' in The Bluebird Wing at The Ruskin Museum.

The completed Bluebird K7 Sponson Display will be on view at the Ruskin Museum until further notice.

Photographs reporduced by kind permission of Anthony Stuchbury © Copyright 2015.

Bill Smith - Bluebird "Resurrection" Radio Interview"

Bill Smith has just taken part in a radio programme discussing the [non-religious] theme of Resurrection, focusing on The Bluebird Project.

You can listen to the broadcast in the following ways:

  • The programme will be broadcast on BBC World Service from Saturday 30th May till Tuesday 2nd June , depending on where in the world you are. Go to for times and how to listen
  • Main UK Radio broadcast on DAB, cable, Freeview etc. is on Tuesday at 09:05am
  • In the US Sirius XM satellite radio carries the full BBC WS schedule, channel 118
  • Please feel free to link to us from your own web site. (We'd really appreciate it!) You can also access the show or point others to it via ITunes
  • The BBC website will be active and populated by Saturday 30th May 2015, if not before, If the link doesn't work for whatever reason, please just put in Google "The Forum BBC World Service Resurrections" and it will come up
  • The programme will also be available online from Tuesday 2nd June and will stay permanently on the BBC archive
  • Podcast (available for four weeks after the radio broadcast): or through iTunes
  • Join in the conversation and follow on twitter @BBCTheForum twitter-bird-blue-on-white @BBCTheForum

Thank You For Your Positive Feedback

The Ruskin Museum has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for attractions that consistently achieve outstanding visitor feedback with an average of 4.5 out of 5. So thank you everyone who has left us positive feedback, it is very much appreciated.

The Ruskin Museum is also proud to have recieved the Britain's Finest Quality Stamp for top visitor attractions.