28 November 2016

William Wordsworth in Cockermouth, Cumbria

Wordsworth House, Cockermouth, Cumbria. The house dates from between 1670 and 1690, and in the 1760s was in the possession of James Lowther. The lawyer John Wordsworth was Lowther's agent and John moved in here free of rent in 1765, marrying Ann Cookson the following year. Of their children, William (the future poet) was the second born (in 1770), and Dorothy (the sister to whom William was very close) was the third, born in 1771. The property is owned by the National Trust, which has re-constructed the interior and the garden to show how the property might have looked in the 1770s.

The front office, with a mahogany desk dated 1776. John represented Lowther in legal matters and also ran his own legal business.

The back office, the room where John's clerk perhaps worked.

The splendor of the dining room.

The kitchen. The souvenir guide Wordsworth House and Garden (2014) suggests that Ann and her maid would have consulted such books as Experienced English Housekeeper by Elizabeth Raffald, an author this blog has mentioned before in relation to Manchester and Stockport.

The drawing room, with replica Wilton carpet.



A view of the garden, partly destroyed in the 2009 flood but now renewed.

'IN THIS HOUSE WAS BORN
ON APRIL 7TH 1770
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH,
POET LAUREATE.
HE DIED AT RYDAL MOUNT, GRASMERE
APRIL 23RD 1850,
INTERRED IN GRASMERE CHURCHYARD.
DOROTHY HIS SISTER, 1771–1855'

Opposite Wordsworth House is a small memorial garden, with a fountain dedicated to both William and Dorothy Wordsworth.

'WILLIAM
WORDSWORTH
1770 – 1850'

William's mother Ann Wordsworth died in 1778, and his father John Wordsworth in 1783.

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