How Wordsworth House was saved
The Wordsworths weren’t the only family to leave their mark on this house. The Ellises, who lived here in the 1930s, were almost responsible for its destruction.
William Wordsworth’s birthplace nearly burned down on several occasions while GP Edward Ellis, his wife Dorothy and their children Odille and Billy were in residence.
One night when Edward and Dorothy were having a dinner party, Odille was reading in her room when she heard footsteps on the stairs. Unsure who was approaching, she panicked.
She later remembered: ‘I wasn’t supposed to read in bed and we only had gas lights. Someone was coming up the stairs, so I pulled my curtains around the gas light and set them on fire!’
The family’s Christmas tree also caught light more than once, thanks to their habit of decorating it with cotton wool balls and real candles.