Day Eight - Wm. Wordsworth homes - Dove Cottage & Rydal Mount 

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look for Grasmere & Rydal, south of Keswick

William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) lived his entire life in the Lake District, except when he attended St. John's College, Cambridge.  William married his childhood sweetheart Mary Hutchinson and his sister Dorothy lived with them for the rest of their lives.  The three were inseparable and took long walks almost every day.  Only a short distance away is Rydal Water, a small lake, and only a mile more is where the beautiful Langdale area starts.   

Wordsworth was the most famous English Romantic poet. He also wrote one of the earliest guides to the Lake District praising its beauty.  As might be expected, tourists read & responded, and poured in, on horseback, and in carriages, and shortly thereafter, a railway line was run to Kendall, at the south end of the Lake District.

Wm. Wordsworth had to live with the bitter irony of realizing that while his popular guide book had brought him meaningful income, it was accompanied by a huge influx of tourists, which signaled the end of the 'unspoiled wilderness' he knew so well.     

DOVE COTTAGE

Driving south from Keswick, you first come to Grasmere, where Wordsworth's earlier home, Dove Cottage, is located.  It is currently in limited-access mode due to renovations, and they only have a 10 am and a 2 pm guided tour.  We signed up for the 2 pm tour and then drove further south to Rydal.  

RYDAL MOUNT

Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's last home, seems modern, with good-sized, well-lit rooms. Wordsworth built an impressive hillside garden here, which we enjoyed walking up & down through, in the rain.     

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

nearby waterfalls a research building Rydal Mount fall berries
  fall in the garden    < Wiliam  Wordsworth and & his wife Dorothy >
    the study Wm. & family read Scott's Waverly novels
  view of Rydal Water      
portrait of Robert Burns   W.W. painted by Hideyuki Sobue (recent) there was a very nice cafe
  Hydrangea wandering through the garden  
  gardener's shed Rydal Water is nearby last looks at Rydal Mount
  lovely setting two web photos of Langdale an area where he & his family used to walk

GRASMERE & DOVE COTTAGE

In the early afternoon we drove back to Dove Cottage, and since we had extra time we walked into the tiny town of Grasmere, visiting St. Oswald's Kirkyard, where Wordsworth's family members are buried.  This was accompanied by a steady rainfall. 

Back at Dove Cottage on the 2 pm tour....our small group had to wear reflective construction vests.  The rooms inside Dove Cottage had no furniture or decorations, allowing work on the flooring to be done.  Floors and walls here were of dark wood, and the home was poorly lit, with few windows, primitive-looking.  Photos were not allowed & since there was essentially nothing to look at, the tour was short. 

The Docent said the plan is to have a fully-restored Cottage re-opened to the public by spring 2020, for the 250th anniversary of his birth. 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.

Dove Cottage in the morning afternoon walk to Grasmere ...in constant rain old house
River Rothay shops near the Church  interior of St. Oswald's
see note below in the Kirk yard Wordsworth family graves
tour group Dove Cottage

note - this photo has been lightened in order to show the 'rough-hewn' wood structure.

misc. note - the Lake District, or Cumbria in general, is the rainiest part of England.

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