Wordsworth’s House, Cumbria
Discover Rydal Mount in Cumbria, the former home of Romantic poet, William Wordsworth, where the surrounding scenery and countryside inspired the poet’s work.
The blooming gardens of Rydal Mount, Cumbria. Photo courtesy of Rydal Mount
The Cumbrian born Romantic poet resided at the fell-side address of Rydal Mount, located between Grasmere and Ambleside, from the age of 43. It was to be his last address following a string of homes, notably his birthplace and childhood home in Cockermouth (now run by the National Trust), and the diminutive Dove Cottage (run by the Wordsworth Trust) in Grasmere.
The house is today owned by a direct descendant of the poet. His poetry was sparked by his love of the natural world. In 1813 when he and his extended family moved to Rydal Mount, he had at last found a family home which afforded him peace to revise earlier works and create new poems, including To a snowdrop and The longest day. The latter was written about a summer’s day in the garden, and the joy it inspired in his young daughter, Dora.
From the Drawing Room, the poet could gaze across to Windermere, Rydal Water and surrounding fells, but when at work he preferred the quiet of the attic study, his own addition. Today the house is open to visit, with most rooms available to view, including bedrooms and study. Along the way, visitors can see some of the poet’s personal possessions, family portraits, and first editions of his work.
Rydal Mount was a former yeoman’s cottage and still bears many of its original Tudor features, as well as styles typical of the Georgian period in the Drawing Room and Library, added just before Wordsworth’s ownership. The house was never so loved as the garden, however. Seen today, it is a haven of colour across the seasons, its four acres carefully tended by Wordsworth, who utilised its natural features to create fell-side terraces, rock pools and wandering lawns bordered by rhododendrons and rare shrubs. To walk here is to experience the same assualt on the senses as during the poet’s day. Perhaps the garden and its unspoilt Lakeland views have the most to say about their former owner, who so eloquently expressed their beauty.