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Step back to the 1770s at William Wordsworth’s childhood home

Wordsworth House and Garden, in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth, is the birthplace and childhood home of romantic poet William and his sister Dorothy.

It is presented as it would have been when they lived here with their parents, three brothers and servants in the 1770s.

Today, this homely Georgian townhouse is peopled by our knowledgeable 21st-century guides and, on selected dates, the maid or manservant is hard at work – and keen to chat.

There is real food on the dining table, a fire burning in the working kitchen and a recipe William and Dorothy might have eaten for you to taste. Ink and quill pens are ready in the clerk’s office, and if you play the piano, you might like to try our replica harpsichord.

The children’s bedroom is full of toys and dressing up clothes, and in the Wordsworth Room there are books and games to enjoy. Down in the cellar, the household’s ghosts are waiting to tell their stories.

The garden is packed with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, just as it would have been when William played – and learned his love of nature – here.

Musical interlude

Join us on a Tuesday afternoon between 1.30pm and 3.30pm to listen to sounds of the 18th century that William might have enjoyed, played on our replica harpsichord. If you're musical, you could even play a tune yourself. 

Term-time treats

Our term-time programme includes house tours (Monday and Thursday), garden tours (Tuesday morning, May only) and costumed servant talks (Wednesday and Saturday). Tours and talks are at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

Step back in time

Celebrate Cockermouth's Georgian Fair by joining the Wordsworths' manservant on a verbal tour of their home town, in the comfort of our dining room. Talks are at 11.30am and 2.30pm from Saturday, 2 May to Monday, 4 May.

Wild memories

Wordsworth was the original wild child. His outdoor upbringing gave him a love of nature and a fund of happy memories, which he shared in his poems. What are your favourite childhood memories?

Latest news

Gone to the dogs

When Dorothy Ellis lived here with her children in the 1930s, red setter Rufus was a much-loved member of the family. Join us on Facebook to meet some of our modern canine visitors. 

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