Experience Georgian life at first hand

Costumed servants at work in the kitchen at Wordsworth House © John Millar

Costumed servants at work in the kitchen at Wordsworth House

The furniture is brightly polished, the copper pots are gleaming, the fire is crackling in the kitchen grate, and William Wordsworth’s childhood home is ready to receive visitors.

The dining table is set with real food, and the room guides and costumed servants are in position to share their stories about the Wordsworths – and some of the house’s other colourful residents.

On Mondays and Thursdays during term time, 30-minute house taster tours offer an insight into the family life that forged one of our best-loved poets. The tours, which are free with entry, are at 11.30am and 2.30pm. They’re very popular, though, so please arrive in plenty of time.

On Tuesdays at 11.30am (May only), our gardener leads a tour of what’s in bloom in William’s childhood garden, while one of our harpsichord volunteers is at the keyboard in the drawing room between 1.30pm and 3.30pm, playing some of the music he might have enjoyed.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the maid or manservant is hard at work in the kitchen – and keen to chat. The servants also give special 20-minute talks on William’s childhood or the horrible truth about Georgian life. Talks, which cost £2, are at 11.30am and 2.30pm.

On Sundays, families can borrow Explorer Bags full of trails, tools and toys to help them delve into the nooks and crannies of the house and garden.

When you go round the house, look out for some unique artworks made from found objects by the staff, who have been accessing their inner ‘wild child’.

Whatever day you visit, reproduction toys and dressing up clothes – in all sizes – are waiting in the children’s bedroom. The quills and ink are ready in the clerk’s office, while in the kitchen, there’s an 18th-century recipe to taste. And, if you have a musical bent, feel free to pick out a tune on the harpsichord yourself.