Wordsworth House & Garden

Main Street, Cockermouth, CA13 9RX
Wordsworth House

Wordsworth House (MarcusBritish / Wikipedia.org)

William Wordsworth’s childhood home is open to the public in the small town of Cockermouth on the western edge of the Lake District. Visitors are invited to peer back in time to Georgian England and talk to a Georgian maid or manservant or sample a Georgian recipe in the kitchen.

Located at one end of Cockermouth’s main shopping street, the house is an excellent choice for visitors seeking respite from the rain or a break from browsing the shops.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01900 824 805 / Website
Cost:
Adult £9.20, Child £4.60
Seasonal Opening:
March - November
 

History

Built in 1745 for the Cumberland High Sherriff Joshua Lucock, the elaborate Georgian manor house located at the end of Cockermouth’s Main Street dwarfed other buildings in the town and even today its coral coloured exterior has a notable presence. In 1761, the property was purchased by Sir James Lowther, Earl of Lonsdale, and in 1764 Lowther let the property to John Wordsworth, his solicitor.

John Wordsworth married his wife Anne two years later and the couple had five children, amongst them William Wordsworth born in 1770. Sadly, Anne passed away when William was just eight years old and he was sent to live with his relatives in Penrith. Until the early twentieth century, the house remained as a private residence.

In 1937, it was bought by a local bus company who sought to demolish the house and build a bus station on the site. A local campaign to save the property managed to secure enough funds to purchase it on behalf of the town of Cockermouth who then gifted it to the National Trust.

Things To See

You can tour through the house and learn more about life for the young Wordsworths. Various volunteers and staff appear in costume as servants and you can chat to them about their lives in Georgian England.

Rooms include a dining room laid out for a formal meal, a recreation of John Wordsworth’s office, and a Georgian kitchen where volunteers prepare authentic Georgian dishes for visitors to try, including the local favourite, Rum Butter. You can also attempt to write with a quill or try your hand at playing the harpsichord.

In the basement of the property there is a modern exhibition on the floods of 2009 that devastated the town, with images and video that includes the tale of the miraculous recovery of the property gates several miles outside of Cockermouth. Outside there is a large garden to explore, with rare breed chickens and the terrace where the Wordsworth children once played.

Useful Information

There is a small café on the upper floor of the property serving cakes and light lunches. There is a shop adjacent to the property selling National Trust merchandise, plants, and gifts.

There is lift access to parts of the property and the garden is wheelchair accessible.

There is no parking available at the property. The nearest car park is on Wakefield Road with a footbridge that will lead you over the river onto the high street.

Map

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