Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth

Although the weather forecast for the last day of our short break in the Lake District didn’t predict rain, they got it wrong! But we hadn’t intended to go out for a walk but to spend the day mooching around Keswick and then to visit the Wordsworth House and Garden in Cockermouth, just over 10 miles away and we didn’t let a little rain disrupt our plans.

The “Wordsworth House and Garden” is a large Georgian townhouse which is the birthplace and childhood home of the romantic poet. It stands in a prominent position on the main street and today it’s owned by the National Trust. At the moment it’s undergoing some restoration work and the front was obscured somewhat by scaffolding, so the following photograph is taken from the National Trust’s website.

Wordsworth House was the birthplace and childhood home of poet William © John Millar

Wordsworth’s father, John, was a lawyer who worked as the agent for the Cumberland estates of Sir James Lowther. He moved into the “tied” house (it came with the job) in 1765, marrying Ann Lowther, the daughter of a prosperous draper from Penrith the following year. They had five children: Richard in 1768, William in 1770, Dorothy in 1771, John in 1772 and Christopher in 1774.

When Ann died in 1778 William and his brother Richard were sent to Hawkshead Grammar School where they lived with a local woman and his sister Dorothy was sent to live with elatives in Halifax. Their father died in December 1783 and as the house went with the job the children became homeless and had to be sent to live with relatives.

Visitors see the house as it would have appeared when Wordsworth lived there with his parents, and siblings in the 1770s. It’s probably pretty typical of the type of house a Georgian middle class professional family would have lived in.

John Wordsworth’s study

DSC07345

The Clerk’s office

DSC07351

The Dining Room where guests would have been entertained

DSC07348

but wouldn’t have been used for the family’s daily meals. They would have been taken in the cosy Parlour, the main family living room, on the other side of the house, just off the kitchen

DSC07357

DSC07355

The large kitchen

DSC07353

The Drawing Room, another room used for entertaining and impressing guests, is at the front of the house on the first floor, very typical of Georgian houses

DSC07359

DSC07373

The family bedrooms were also on the first floor

Ann’s bedroom

DSC07362

The childrens’ bedroom

DSC07365

There’s a large garden at the back of the house, overlooking the River Derwent

DSC07369

DSC07366

DSC07367

DSC07372

The scarecrow has his own blog!

Wordsworth wrote about his childhood in his epic biographical poem The Prelude and he clearly had happy memories of living and growing up in the house.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth

  1. We visited the house many years ago, so its lovely to see it again…..not that I could remember what it looked like, just that I had been there 🙂 Lovely photos

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s