When John Ruskin died on 20th January, 1900, his colleague W. G. Collingwood organised a memorial exhibition that summer in the newly extended Assembly Room of Coniston Institute. The proceeds from the exhibition not only paid off the outstanding debt on the Assembly Room, but raised sufficient funds to build a further extension to house a permanent memorial to Coniston’s most famous resident. The Ruskin Museum was opened at the end of August in 1901 by Canon Rawnsley and has attracted numerous visitors ever since. Ruskin’s heirs, the Severns and W.G. Collingwood, gave a comprehensive selection of watercolours, drawings, sketchbooks, manuscripts and personal memorabilia to the new museum. Collingwood also persuaded his antiquarian and archaeological friends to donate various artefacts relating to the history of Coniston; a tradition which continues today and has produced a comprehensive history from the Stone Age to Donald Campbell and Bluebird’s jet era.

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