History of Lindeth Fell

Lindeth fell was built as a private residence by renowned local builder George Henry Pattinson who acquired approximately 26 acres of the Storrs Estate from Francis Guy Senior, in 1907. Typical of Pattinson houses of this era, Lindeth Fell snuggles into the hillside, built from Westmorland slate, local stone and white rough cast with numerous gables and round chimney stacks. The gardens were attributed to Thomas Mawson, the famous landscape architect and author who designed many of the larger gardens in the Lake District at the time, and often worked with Pattinsons. Formal flowerbeds near the house lead to croquet lawn, tennis court and private lake, with the garden merging into the surrounding countryside on its borders. Cleverly designed terraces followed the natural lines of the landscape. House and garden were completed in 1909.

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Early photo of house during building.

Pattinson had built several large houses on the Eastern side of the lake for various wealthy clients, but Lindeth Fell remained in their family until 1922. None of the family ever lived here however, and presumably it was built as an investment, for long term leasing to families wanting to sample life in the lakes, a holiday home or a weekend retreat.

One such family was the Lings, Manchester cotton manufacturers. On the 1911 census Mary Lings, 58, was a widow of private means, living at Tremlo (the name was changed to Lindeth Fell in 1913 ) with 3 members of her family, and seven domestic servants.

The Lings relaxing on the terrace at Lindeth Fell

Her son Colin Ling later married Doris Clegg whose family were in the cotton Spinning business in Manchester and lived at Holbeck Ghyll, now also a hotel.  These superb old photographs were given to us by Mark Beattie, from the Lings / Clegg family photograph albums, and show the house and family both before and after the war.

lf history census

By 1909 stables were no longer required, and a Lodge was built at Lindeth Fell to accommodate the chauffeur and cars. This Belgian 1908 La Buire was owned and driven by Doris Clegg.

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The gardens included a grass tennis court, a croquet lawn and a garden terrace with views over the lake.

Lindeth Fell Garden

The tarn was stocked with fish for over a hundred years. An otter caught the last carp in the early 2000's.

Fishing at the tarn at Lindeth Fell

There was a Thomas Mawson designed summer house by the rockery.

The Thomas Mawson designed summer house at Lindeth Fell

The tarn also had a jetty and a punt. There were several gardeners to maintain the grounds and kitchen garden, and a greenhouse and potting shed with stove and chimney which was converted in to a 5 bedroom staff annexe in 1985.

Following the First world war, the ownership changed hands several times. In 1922 sold to Colonel Charles Ernest Walker, and then in 1929 to Dora and William Miles Forwood, a solicitor who travelled to Liverpool by train every day. Here is an extract from a letter sent to Diana Kennedy in 1985 by a niece of Miles and Dora Forward. She has some lovely memories of visits to the house.

“I had many happy holidays as a child at Lindeth Fell. There was then a boat-house with about 5 assorted boats. There were 2 cars and the chauffeur Mr Swift, who lived in the lodge, and was a wonderful friend. The tarn had a punt, but I don’t remember fish, and the gardens were wonderful for the young. I was last there in 1964, and it was exactly the same and we still played billiards. It seems to me it is still a friendly, happy house, and I would be most grateful if you would send me your brochure.”

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1934, visiting LIndeth Fell on the way back from Perthshire.

 Boat on the tarn at Lindeth Fell, Windermere

1930, Lindeth Fell Tarn.

Bathing from the Boathouse at Lindeth Fell, Windermere

1930, Bathing from Lindeth Fell Boathouse.

On Miles Forwood’s death in 1964, the house was sold to John Pilling, later of Burrow Hall whose wife was Lindeth Fell’s most garden loving occupant being so keen she introduced showy but labour intensive beds of annuals into the lawns and exhibited plants regularly at Southport Flower show.

As with so many biggish houses with sizeable grounds, its running costs increasingly defeated private individuals wanting a simple if fairly grand family home. In the late 70s the then owner Sir Christopher Scott divided the site into three parcels of land, and sold the main house and 6.5 acres of gardens including tarn to a Mr D. Ashton. In 1978 the house was converted in to Lindeth Fell Country House Hotel. 

An old brochure from Lindeth Fell Country House, Windermere

An old brochure for Lindeth Fell, Windermere

1978, the first brochure.

In 1984, Lindeth Fell was bought by Air Commodore Pat Kennedy and his wife Diana. Irish born Pat had been a highly decorated Hurricane pilot during World War Two, and he went on to work for British Aerospace. Twenty years his junior, Diana worked as a BOAC stewardess on trans-Atlantic flights aboard the Stratocruiser providing opulent transport for the rich and famous. They were living within easy reach of the Lake District when they came across Lindeth Fell, immediately seeing the potential, and not long afterwards securing it for the princely sum of £250,000. Initially Diana did all the cooking, and Pat, turning his back on retirement, ran the front of house, office, bar etc, and the garden. They had no experience and little training for the job, apart from Diana’s hotelier’s course at Westminster College shortly after leaving school. But Diana said “Pat was very single minded – either we did it properly or not at all” and their hard work, long hours and determination paid off. The hotel was a great success with their guests from the start. 

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Over the next 38 years the house has undergone several extensions, increasing the dining room area twice, enlarging the kitchen and pantry, adding staff accommodation, a first and then a second owners flat, and more recently a guest Bar, and Biomass boiler house. The parking area at the front of the house was extended and extra parking for cars created half way up the drive. Lindeth Fell converted to Bed and Breakfast accommodation in 2014, and has retained their AA 5 stars and a Gold Award for quality every year since.

Sadly Pat died in 2010 aged 92 years after a short illness. Diana is still baking the afternoon tea scones, and her famous brown sugar meringues. And of course making her Gold award winning marmalade!

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Daughters Sheena, Jo and Kate are now keeping the business in the family.