Taking the Bark back to the Bark House

07. May 2016 Leather 2
Taking the Bark back to the Bark House

Bark House is a very old, one-room stone building owned by the National Trust. It’s set near Ashness Bridge – an iconic place where tourists come to take photos.

Bark house in the background with Ashness bridge in front.
Bark house in the background with Ashness bridge in front.

Bark House was originally used to store oak bark before it was sent to the Keswick tannery. But no longer, as tanneries across the country have been closing down over the past 100 years. Leather has been hugely replaced with evil synthetic materials.

 

In the sixties it was used by the Scouts to sleep in (an original bunk bed is still there). Many visitors have wonderful memories of this time.

Inside Bark House, with a lovely fire keeping me warm.
Inside Bark House, with a lovely fire keeping me warm.

More recently the National Trust occasionally opens it up for visitors. This gives them a space to come and warm up by the fire and eat their sandwiches.  During some of these days artists and craftspeople are invited to demonstrate and sell their wares. A beautiful place to work and meet interesting people.

Me demonstrating my leather work in the Bark House.
Me demonstrating my leather work in the Bark House.

So, how did the Bark House get its bark back? Simple really. I peeled some oak last week and took it to the Bark House whilst demoing my leather work at the weekend. I’ve left it on the window sill ready to be used in a tanning time of crisis!

Me, feeling very at home. It would be nice to have this as my permanent workshop!
Me, feeling very at home. It would be nice to have this as my permanent workshop!

The National Trust also asked me to make them a visitors book, bound in tough cowhide, and a guitar strap for their “Please play me” guitar!

The National Trust commissioned me to make them a visitor's books. Cowhide with a yew button.
The National Trust commissioned me to make them a visitor’s books. Cowhide with a yew button.
The guitar strap that the National Trust commissioned me to make. The guitar lives in the Bark House and has a label on its neck that says, "Please Play Me!"
The guitar strap that the National Trust commissioned me to make. The guitar lives in the Bark House and has a label on its neck that says, “Please Play Me!”

2 thoughts on “Taking the Bark back to the Bark House”

  • 1
    Pete on 7th May 2016

    Great blog mate! I trust you knocked out a few chords on the old guitar whilst there 🙂

    • 2
      bodgermorgan on 8th May 2016

      Cheers Pete! It’s quite a nice little guitar and the acoustics in there were great, so obviously I snuck in a few strums when no one was there!

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