Drawing 12: The Old Courthouse, Hawkshead
Direction of view: W
Notes: This picture is taken from the road just north of Hawkshead village.
This scene does not appear in any other of Wainwright’s published works.
Comments: I first visited this the location of this sketch on 14 April 2012, on a day of sunny intervals. Patience in waiting for one of these to come along was amply repaid, with lovely lighting. The large tree on the left of AW’s drawing has been felled (stump still visible), revealing Hawkshead Old Hall behind. The foliage AW shows on the right of the picture (still visible in the late 1970s, see below) is no longer there either, allowing a much clearer view of the building, which dates from the 15th Century, and was once part of a group of buildings owned by Furness Abbey.
The building was given to the National Trust in 1932, and Wainwright wrote that it “is now used as a rural crafts museum by Abbott Hall Art Gallery, Kendal”. By 2018 that is no longer so, though the interior of the building can be viewed by borrowing the key from the National Trust shop in Hawkshead.
The picture on the right below was taken by Peter Messenger in the late 1970s, and is interesting for contrast.