Derwent Island House: Search on for new tenants of National Trust home

 Derwent Island House, 150 yards off the shores of Derwent Water in Cumbria  is up for rent for £40,000 per year

Derwent Island House occupies a wonderful spot in the Lake District – but the rent is a rather eye-watering £40,000 a year
Derwent Island House occupies a wonderful spot in the Lake District – but the rent is a rather eye-watering £40,000 a year

Fancy setting up home in an exclusive Italian-styled house on a heart-shaped island?

It could all be yours - but you’ll need a boat to get your groceries.

The hunt is on for new tenants for Derwent Island House, 150 yards off the shores of Derwent Water in Cumbria.

The seven bedroom Grade-II listed home is up for rent for £40,000 per year.

Accessible by boat or canoe, the house and its gardens are owned by the National Trust and come complete with period furniture.

Helen Lancaster, from agents Carter Jonas in Kendal, said: “While milk is currently delivered by canoe and you will need to go ashore to reach the bins, or to collect mail, it’s a unique way of life for the right tenant.

“It does come with mod cons too. There is mains power and water and oil for the central heating. The house has broadband and internet connections too so it’s not an IT black-hole.”

She added: “It’s a wonderful family home. It takes a special type of person to live in this extraordinary setting.

“It’s beautiful, exclusive house with period furniture and art to be cherished and cared for. We would expect prospective tenants to plan to stay for at least five years and to consider occasional days sharing the house with the wider public.”

Set on a seven acre island, the house has seven bedrooms, a one-bedroom annexe, five reception rooms, including a sitting room which opens out on to a roof top terrace, library and a dining room seating 22 guests.

There is also a large garden room with doors on to a patio, cellar and stores on the lower ground floor.

In the grounds there is a former ‘mock’ chapel (currently the island’s workshop), winter boathouse, further boathouse and landings. On the mainland there is a dry dock boathouse and garage and two boats are provided.

In medieval times, the island was owned by the monks of Fountains Abbey. It became the property of the monarchy in 1539 and in 1569 was home to German miners brought in to extract graphite from the hills.

The present house dates from 1780, when Joseph Pocklington, a banker from Newark, built a home and several follies.

In 1844, Henry Marshall, a wealthy Yorkshire flax spinner, added two wings to the house, giving it its Italian style. His family supported the establishment of the National Trust and three of the Trust’s founders were frequent guests. In 1951, Henry’s grandson Denis Marshall gave the property to the Trust, which has let it out for the last 60 years.

Derwent Island House will become available in December, or earlier by arrangement, when the current tenants leave the home after a 10-year tenancy.

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