The monument that we unveil to-day consists of a simple monolithic block of Borrowdale stone, rough and unhewn as it came from the quarry.  It is of the type of the standing stones of Galloway, which are the earliest Christian monuments of the Celtic people now extant.  This form has been chosen as linking us here with that land across the Solway, whence Ruskin’s fore-elders came.  Upon one side is incised a simple Chi-Rho, enclosed in a circle after the fashion of those earliest crosses, with the following inscription beneath from Deucalion, Lecture xii., par. 40:—'The Spirit of God is around you in the air you breathe—His Glory in the light that you see, and in the fruitfulness of the earth and the joy of His creatures, He has written for you day by day His revelation, as He has granted you day by day your daily bread.’ (p. 215)

It may serve to perpetuate to passers by one of the messages of the Teacher, and the cross above it may strike a keynote which, at any rate, I find ringing up from so much that Ruskin wrote, and from all of his daily life I knew or have heard of. (p. 216)

On the other side of the monolith, facing the lake and the scene which Ruskin once described to a friend of mine “as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe,” we have a medallion in bronze, the careful work of Signor Lucchesi, representing Ruskin not as the old man and invalid of later days, but as he was in his prime, at the time I knew him best, at Oxford, in the early seventies.  The head is in profile; a crown of wild olive is seen in the background of the panel, which is dished or hollowed to give the profile high relief, and Ruskin’s favourite motto, “To-day,” is introduced among the olive leaves in the background over the head.  Above the portrait is the name “John Ruskin,” beneath are his dates 1819 to 1900.  Beneath these again is incised the inscription, ‘The first thing that I remember as an event in life was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar’s Crag, Derwentwater.’ (p. 216)

The lettering has been designed and drawn by Ruskin’s biographer, Mr. Collingwood, and was so designed to indicate that particular dot and dash style of drawing which was a favourite method with the Master.  We have to thank Mr. Bromley, the stone cutter, for his care in selecting the block, and his nephew for his cutting of the letters as well. (p. 217)

The monument in its simplicity and sincerity has at any rate the merit of telling its own story, and of being devoid of any unnecessary ornament.  It is of the stone of the country, and placed here on this grassy knoll among the trees, seems to be a natural part of the surroundings, and can in no way, either by colour or by scale, incur the charge of being vulgar or intrusive or a blot upon the scene.  It grows out of the ground. (p. 217)

It is erected by leave of the Lord of the Manor here, in the neighbourhood of a scene so dear and memorable to John Ruskin, in entire accordance with his teaching.  He has told us that ‘whenever the conduct or writings of any individual have been directed or inspired by Nature, Nature should be entrusted with their monument’; and again, ‘that since all monuments to individuals are to a certain extant triumphant, they must not be placed where Nature has no elevation of character.’ (p. 217)

The elevated nature of this scene will not be called in question.  And this simple memorial has been placed by friends and lovers of John Ruskin here to shew our gratitude for that servant of God and of the people whose eyes were opened here first to the wonder of creation and the beauty of God’s handiwork; and in the full belief that the scene will lose nothing of natural dignity and power to impress by the memory of how it was able, in the year 1824, to impress and inspire John Ruskin. (pp. 217-218)

(Ruskin and the English Lakes, pp. 207-218)