About us


The Coniston Institute is a remarkable complex of buildings that plays a central role in the life of this rural and industrious community.

It was founded in 1852 as a place of education, well-being and personal development for the families of miners and quarrymen, and it continues today as a cultural and social centre for villagers and visitors alike.

The Institute offers an extensive range of resources and activities, including public rooms, large hall, kitchen, village library and the Honest Shop. There are regular activities along with a programme of events that includes talks, workshops, craft sessions, social lunches and fundraising events.  This community building is owned by the village and its primary aim is to serve the village and visitors by offering an open and enriching experience to all.

Since 2011 Grizedale Arts has been working on the grand renovation and development of the facilities along with a stalwart group of village volunteers and committee members. This includes the restoration and repainting of the main hall and stage, the installation of an all new kitchen, a new self-service library designed by Liam Gillick, and an honesty shop designed by An Endless Supply, selling produce from the village, Lawson Park and the institute’s various groups. 

The Coniston Institute complex adjoins the Ruskin Museum, which houses a  distinguished collections of art and artefacts that have a direct connection to the local area and the people who live here.


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