Portrait of Victorian education pioneer Charlotte Mason that is from The Armitt museum and gallery in Ambleside in England's Lake District

Charlotte Mason memories sought for centenary celebrations

Former students with tales to tell of Ambleside’s celebrated Charlotte Mason College are urged to share them in plans to mark the world-renowned educator a century after her death.


The iconic figure, who set up her Lakes’ House of Education and has an 11-million strong global teaching movement in her name, will be the focus of an international conference, exhibition, monthly talks and a special events programme in 2023.

A rich legacy will come under the spotlight at her former college, now part of University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus, and in countries where home-schooled pupils are taught using her guiding principles.

Campus director, Professor Lois Mansfield, who is leading events alongside Faye Morrissey, manager and curator of The Armitt, in Ambleside, which is hosting the exhibition, explained the focus would be on today’s relevance of Charlotte Mason.

She said: “We’re looking for anecdotes, loanable artefacts, memories handed down from past generations and anything at all to illustrate life and study at the well-known institution. We would particularly like to display any nature diaries people may have.

“Charlotte Mason was a truly remarkable woman. Although an iconic figure in the States, Australasia, Canada, Japan and India, where millions of pupils are home-schooled, Charlotte Mason’s methods live on here in only a handful of schools and learning groups.

“We want to share her life’s work and demonstrate how her philosophies are as relevant now as they ever were. She originally established the college to school governesses in the late 1800s and later spearheaded its development into teacher training.

“Through her House of Education and Parents’ National Educational Union (PNEU) countless children have benefitted from philosophies and curriculum, notably including nature and lessons outdoors.”   

An international conference will be taking place in July 2023, in partnership with the US division of the Charlotte Mason Institute, which serves thousands of global educators and students.

Anyone with stories and information to help mount The Armitt exhibition is urged to contact Faye Morrissey, 015394 31212, faye.morrissey@armitt.com, or Prof Mansfield lois.mansfield@cumbria.ac.uk, 015394 30304.

Image above shows a portrait of Charlotte Mason, who is being celebrated in next year’s centenary of her death. Pictured below Scale How, Charlotte Mason’s Ambleside House of Education, now part of University of Cumbria


Scale How pic

For interview requests, please contact Karen Barden 07793 083106


Notes to editors

About The Armitt

The Armitt is a museum, gallery, and library devoted to preserving and sharing the cultural heritage of the Lake District, situated in one of the most picturesque villages in the Lakes, in Ambleside.

The Armitt has a remarkable collection of objects, artworks, and books, including Beatrix Potter’s original fungi watercolours, a collection of Kurt Schwitters’ artwork, and archaeological remains from the Ambleside Roman Fort.