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 down in the cellar, the household’s ghosts are waiting to tell their stories.
Our exhibition rooms house a changing programme of displays. In 2017, The Word-Hoard: Love Letters to Our Land, guest curated by Robert Macfarlane, author of award-winning book Landmarks, runs from mid-March to early September. It celebrates the natural world and reclaims the words once used to describe it, through stunning images by his parents, Cumbrian-based photographers Rosamund and John.
In the discovery room, there is a permanent exhibition about William’s Lakeland legacy and his key role in the founding of the National Trust, along with family games and activities.
The garden is packed with 18th-century vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers, just as it would have been when he played – and learned his love of nature – here.