The History of The Old Man of Coniston

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  May is National Walking Month so I wanted to share with you the history behind a recent walk I did. The Old Man of Coniston (or Coniston Old Man) is located in the Lake District and is one of the fells in the Furness Fells . It is approximately 2632.61 ft high. The road up to the main car park for the hike was originally built to serve the slate quarry . The Coniston Old man has an extensive slate mining history dating back to 12th and 13th centuries. It was estimated that around this time slate began to be worked here and has been worked up until the present day. By the 1500s, established slate workings were present in the area. On the stony path on the way up to the summit, you can see numerous signs of the remnants of the slate industry from buildings and machinery to electrical pylons.   The summit itself is signified by a slate platform and cairn. Although this is a great spot to have lunch if the weather is good, the summit was historically used as a warning beacon which for

Enjoying Museums & Galleries from Your Home

With many countries going into lockdown, many of our favourite cultural institutions are closing their doors and nobody really knows when they will open again. But have no fear, my history buffs - many museums and art galleries are utilising their online resources to ensure that we can still get our cultural fix. Google Arts & Culture have an extensive cultural collection with contributions from galleries and institutions around the world.  From virtual tours to an expansion of online resources, it's safe to say that museums across the globe are doing their part to ensure we can all still access the arts from the comfort of our homes. 

Virtual Tours
Self Portrait with Grey Felt Hat 1887 - Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

Van Gogh Museum  is giving you the opportunity to peruse its floors using a Google street view style tour in addition to access to hundreds of digitised images of Van Gogh's work. 

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea Explore 6 areas of the museum and hundreds of pieces of Korean modern art. 

Hermitage Museum, Russia Apple have produced a 5 hour cinematic video tour of Russia's Hermitage Museum including pieces by Rembrandt. If you don't want to spend 5 hours watching a Youtube video, they also have a virtual tour of the museum.

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery have uploaded virtual tours, thousands of images as well as online exhibitions on varying topics from Votes for Women to First Ladies

British Museum are also using Google Arts and Culture to bring you a virtual tour. The museum has also developed History Connected which allows you to wonder through a timeline of significant artefacts on display, giving you more of a curatorial insight into the museum's objects. 

Louvre have 4 online tours including Egyptian Antiquities and of the exhibition 'The Advent of the Artist'. 

© IWM (HU 49314) via IWM Online Collections

Online Collections

MoMA always have a fantastic online collection so this is nothing new but definitely still a great resource for you to peruse from isolation. With over 84,000 works online, you're bound to find something that you love. I particularly love the collection of Otto Dix's artworks. MoMA even have a kids audioguide to help your little ones learn about art. 

Natural History Museum have an online data portal where you can search and download research and collections data. There is literally millions of items to search through so it's bound to keep you occupied for a while. They also have a virtual tour!

University of Florida Digital Collections have an online resource of thousands of historic children's books, including the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Imperial War Museum Online Collections have a variety of items to view online including art, documents and photographs.  

Alternatively, search #MuseumFromHome on Twitter where all your favourite museums are posting pictures and information about their favourite pieces from their collections. 

If you have any more suggestions of how we can get our cultural fix from home, leave them in the comments below!


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