Kirkby Lonsdale and Jerwood Centre
10.00am - 5.00pm

John Thelwall (1764-1834) was a leading radical of the day. He supported the French Revolution, campaigned for universal suffrage and annual elections for Parliament, was tried for treason, spent part of his life in the Lake District, and was a strong advocate for elocution lessons. This walk and talk, led by Professor Judith Thompson in authentic period costume (as John Thelwall himself!), will bring this colourful character to life.

Retrace the journey of Thelwall’s ill-fated excursion to and from Devil’s Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale, as featured in his quick-witted satire ‘Pegasus O’erladen’, with several stops for reading, talking and performance along the way.  The walk will be a gentle 3km stroll (paved and level for first 1.5 km), looping from Devil’s Bridge to the ‘Radical Steps’ with a stop at the historic Sun Inn for lunch.

After reconvening in Grasmere, Judith Thompson, as Thelwall, will give the 1805 Poems Chiefly Suggested by the Scenery of Nature a book launch straight out of the 19th century. Discover why Thelwall wanted to be a Lake Poet… and was he successful?


10.00am: Walk: A Bridge Too Far? John Thelwall, Devil’s Advocate – Kirkby Lonsdale. Gather at Devil’s Bridge  – greetings and introduction to John Thelwall

10.00am – 12.00pm: Leisurely walk (with three 20-minute stops) to Sun Inn

12.00 – 1.30pm: Lunch at Sun Inn

1.30 – 2.15pm: Walk back to Devil’s Bridge with final 20-minute stop

4.00pm: Talk: Why Should We Read John Thelwall? – Jerwood Centre, Grasmere

(There is limited parking at Devil’s Bridge. Map with instructions for return to Kendal and Grasmere will be provided. Parts of the walk route can be travelled by car, for those with reduced mobility.)

We have taken every reasonable step to ensure the safety of walk participants, but please be aware that individuals take part at their own risk.

Cost: £10 for a ticket combining both the walk and the talk, or walk £6 and talk £5 (For details of the talk see: ‘Why Should We Read John Thelwall?’)Please note that lunch is not included in the ticket price. Pre-booking is recommended.

Tickets for this event are available online through Quay Tickets. Online booking closes at midnight the day before the event. If you would like to book a ticket on the day of the event, please contact the Wordsworth Trust directly.

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