About

My name is Jen and I am an intern at the Dove Cottage & Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere in the English Lake District. For the next year I will be blogging about my experiences as an intern here as well as what it is like to live in the Lakes.

Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Trust

Dove Cottage was home to the poet William Wordsworth and his family for eight years between 1799 and 1808. The cottage itself dates from the C17th and was originally a public house serving travellers on the old turnpike road.

“Where once the Dove and Olive-bough offered a greeting of good ale to all who entered Grasmere Vale”

Wordsworth, The Waggoner (1806)

 

Whilst they were living at Dove Cottage the Wordsworth’s entertained a number of other major literary figures including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott. Eventually the cottage became too small for Wordsworth’s growing family and in 1808 they moved, first to Allen Bank and then to nearby Rydal Mount where they remained until the death of Wordsworth’s wife Mary in 1859, William himself having died in 1850.

After the Wordsworths’ departure Dove Cottage was rented to their friend the essayist Thomas de Quincy best known now for his candid memoir on the effects of opium addiction, Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821).

The cottage was acquired by The Wordsworth Trust in 1890 and was opened to the public the following year. The Museum was founded in 1943 and houses many important first editions and manuscripts relating to the Wordsworths’, the Lake Poets and their wider circle. The Museum also celebrates contemporary poetry, art and literature through its annual Arts & Book Festival, exhibitions and other events.

Grasmere

Grasmere village is situated in the centre of the English Lake District. Windermere, Keswick and Hawkshead are all within easy reach. The lake from which the village takes its name is to the south and Helm Crag, with its famous Lion and the Lamb rock formation is to the North West.

In addition to being the home of the Wordsworth family Grasmere is also famous for its gingerbread, made to a secret recipe and for its annual Rushbearing Ceremony. Also popular is the annual Grasmere Sports held in August which feature events such as Cumbrian Wrestling and fell running.

The village church, St. Oswald’s is the site of Wordsworth’s grave. Also buried here are his sister, wife and children as well as close family friend Hartley Coleridge, son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

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