BOWNESS, a post-town, in the parish of Windermere, Kendal ward and union, county of Westmorland, 9 miles (W.N.W.) from Kendal. This town or village, which contains the parish church, is beautifully situated on the eastern shore of Windermere Lake; and, from the many objects of deep interest in its immediate vicinity, has been steadily advancing in extent and importance, as a place of favourite resort for visiters, who, in their excursions to the lakes, take up their abode here during the summer months. Two excellent hotels, the Royal (so called in commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Adelaide's visit in 1840) and the Crown, and some lodging-houses, have been built in the village for their accommodation; and in the neighbourhood are several handsome villas erected by persons whom the beauty of the situation has induced to fix their permanent residence here. Pleasure-boats, with fishing-tackle, for parties visiting the lake, are always to be had, and also conveyances for excursions in the environs, which afford a rich display of romantic scenery, and in many points command extensive views of highly varied and strikingly impressive beauty. Two steamers ply during the summer up and down the lake, touching at Ambleside, Waterhead, Low Wood, Bowness, the Ferry inn, and NewbyBridge; and the Kendal and Windermere railway, opened in 1847, brings the traveller from the south to a point (Orrest head) where a spacious hotel has been built, about a mile and a half distant from Bowness. The char of the lake is in high repute, and is potted in great quantities, and sent to all parts of the country. A free grammar school established in 1600 has an endowment of about £60 per annum; a new school-house was lately erected, at an expense of £1,500, by Mr. Bolton, of Storr's Hall, in the parish. The building is situated on a hill overlooking the village, and contains two large schoolrooms; the first stone was laid by William Wordsworth, the eminent poet, in 1836.
Extract from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.