Townend, a simple white-washed seventeenth-century farmhouse outside Troutbeck in Cumbria and home to the Browne family, statesman farmers, from 1626 to 1923, was sold by Richard Browne (1876–1944), shortly before his death, to Oswald Hedley. On Hedley’s death in 1945 it was accepted by HM Treasury in satisfaction of estate duty, and transferred to the National Trust in 1947, with the contents which the Trust bought from his widow. The most striking pictures are those of the local prize-winning sheep in the Lakeland landscape. They were commissioned by the proud owner, George Browne X (1834–1914), from a local painter, William Taylor Longmire (1841–1914), son of a farmer-cum-butcher. He is said to have worked on up to 20 pictures at a time, painting a single colour on each. The sheep are of the indigenous Herdwick breed, the same as those bred by Beatrix Potter nearby and whose wool can still be found in the Library at Townend.
National Trust, Townend
Troutbeck, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1LB England
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