It was whilst living in Dove Cottage that the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth wrote much of his greatest poetry and his sister Dorothy kept her Grasmere Journals. In the early nineteenth century their home was frequented by some of British Romanticism's key writers, poets and artists

Wordsworth was born in 1770. He lived for eighty years, produced some of English poetry’s greatest works and influenced future generations of poets. Most of his life was spent in the Lake District. He was born in Cockermouth (a town in the northern Lakes); educated at Hawkshead Grammar school; and spent much of his adult life in Grasmere and Rydal, right in the heart of the Lake District.

Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount in 1850, and is buried, with his family, in Grasmere churchyard. During his life he was witness to great social, political and artistic change and his experiences and attitudes are reflected not only in his poetry, but also in letters and prose works.

Place and family were also important to Wordsworth. This is clear in his abiding love of the Lake District and settled domestic life, celebrated in poems such as Home at Grasmere.

Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery give a unique insight into the way Wordsworth worked: where his ideas came from, his use of notebooks, the making of fair copies and the continuous correction and reworking of poems. Our collection also takes in several of Wordsworth’s friends and contemporaries who made contributions to the artistic and literary life of the period – some are an integral part of Wordsworth’s story; while others help to paint a picture of the atmosphere of the time.