Home at Grasmere

In 1799, after years of restless wandering and uncertainty, Wordsworth returned to his native Lake District to make a home with his sister Dorothy.

The Wordsworths chose a humble cottage in Town End, with whitewashed walls and Lakeland slate floors, in a hamlet on the edge of Grasmere village.

We know it today as Dove Cottage, the place where poetry changed forever.

Wordsworth described his new home and the garden surrounding it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”.  It was a place that fed inspiration; here Wordsworth wrote some of the most famous poetry in the English language, Dorothy wrote her much loved Grasmere Journal, and well-known Romantic poets and artists such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas De Quincey would frequently come to stay.  It was also a bustling family home that in time housed Wordsworth’s wife and children.

the loveliest spot that man hath ever found
William Wordsworth, describing his new home -

‘Embrace me then, ye Hills, and close me in;
Now in the clear and open day I feel
Your guardianship; I take it to my heart;
‘Tis like the solemn shelter of the night.
But I would call thee beautiful, for mild,
And soft, and gay, and beautiful thou art
Dear Valley, having in thy face a smile
Though peaceful, full of gladness. Thou art pleased,
Pleased with thy crags and woody steeps, thy Lake,
Its one green island and its winding shores;
The multitude of little rocky hills,
Thy Church and cottages of mountain stone
Clustered like stars some few, but single most,
And lurking dimly in their shy retreats,
Or glancing at each other cheerful looks
Like separated stars with clouds between.’

– William Wordsworth, Home at Grasmere

The People

Read about the family, and the guests who visited Dove Cottage.

See the people

The Poetry

Wordsworth͛s poetry is synonymous with the unique landscape of the English Lake District.

More about the poetry