30 November 2016

William Wordsworth at Rydal Mount, Ambleside, Cumbria

From Allan Bank the Wordsworths moved to the Old Rectory in Grasmere, and after that settled into Rydal Mount near Ambleside in 1813, where Wordsworth became Distributor of Stamps. William stayed here until his death at the age of eighty in 1850.

The dining room.

In pride of place over the mantelpiece is the mezzotint portrait of Robert Burns (1759–96), a writer of huge influence on Wordsworth's poetry.

Spice cupboard made by Edward Knott, whose family owned the house between 1700 and 1780. It is dated '1710' and bears Knott's initials 'E. A. K.'.

The chair needlework was done by Mary and Dorothy and William's sister-in-law Sarah. 

The drawing room. This room and the library were knocked into one in 1968.

William and Mary by Margaret Gilles, 1839.

A note in the room at the side of this statue says that Wordsworth called this statue 'The Curious Child', which he mentions in 'The Excursion':

'...I have seen
A curious child, who dwelt upon a track
Of inland ground, applying to its ear
The convolution of a smooth-lipped shell,
To which, in silence hushed, his very soul
Listened intensely, and his countenance
Brightened with joy, for from within soon were heard
Murmurings, whereby the monitor expressed
Mysterious union with its native sea.
Even such a shell the universe itself

Is to the ear of faith...'

The library, from the drawing room.


The Georgian barometer bought back for Rydal Mount at an auction by Susan Andrew, William's great-great-great-granddaughter.

William and Mary's bedroom.

Dorothy's bedroom.

Sculpture of Wordsworth by Ophelia Gordon Bell (1915–75).

Dora's bedroom. She was Wordsworth's oldest daughter, born in 1804. Although not in very good health, she married Edward Quillian in 1841 but died six years later.  Wordsworth had previously bought a field adjoining Rydal Mount, which is now known as 'Dora's field'. On her death, William and Mary planted it with daffodils.

Isabella Fenwick (1783–1856), a good friend of William and Mary who managed to persuade the poet into the good of Dora marrying Edward Quillian.

'To commemorate
the sesquicentary
of the death of
WILLIAM
WORDSWORTH
at Rydal Mount on the
23rd of April 1850
This plaque was
placed here in the
Millennium
Year'

The sesquipedalian plaque at the entrance to Rydal Mount, commemorating the 150th year since William Wordsworth's death.

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