Ann Macbeth (1875 1948)
The famous artist, Ann Macbeth rented High Beckside between the War years. Her work included book-binding, appliqué, embroidery and ceramics. She enlarged the windows at High Beckside to provide more light for her needlework. Two of her religious panels – The Good Shepherd and The Nativity – depict Patterdale in the background can be seen at Patterdale church. Ann Macbeth was a striking figure in the village, often seen wearing a long flowing cape brightly coloured skirts and long necklaces. She gifted her ceramic pieces to local people, especially for children’s christenings – one for the recipients being our Dad, Benny.
In the 1920s, she tried to ease the effects of economic depression on local farming families by advocating the production of rugs from herdwick wool. She invented a loom that could be easily constructed and taught local women how to weave rugs on it, publishing her ideas in The Country Woman’s Rug Book.