Although I’ve had many trips to the lakes and feel that Cockermouth has formed a large part of my childhood. Wednesday was, within my memory anyway, the first time I’ve walked through Wordsworth’s house doors and as a literature student its a place I’ve intended to visit for a while.
However, my trip was not all I had hoped for, after a welcoming greeting and large upsell to become a National Trust member, which I declined. My walk into the house may have transported me to Georgian Cockermouth but it didn’t give any real insight to the poets childhood life nor inspiration that followed. Each room was well furnished, clearly thought out to represent not just the Wordsworth family but a step back to the 1770’s. Yet the main element was missing; information. The lack of boards, notices or leaflets of any kind to describe either the Wordsworth Family, the house, or its history was rather disapointing. It also felt as though so much more could be included of William, for the literature side of the house’s history to be ignored made me question why the attraction is Wordswroth House and not a Georgian house the contents currently includes.
The friendly staff were eager to pass on facts and show off their knowledge; from the use of liquorice toothbrushes to toys, the Georgian lifestyle was presented with enthusiasm. With staff dressed as servents and clerks, the 1770’s are truly brought to life, it’s just a shame the main poet appears to be missing.
With the sun shining and the flowers in bloom, summer would be the perfect time to visit, even making your own verse or poem in the garden with a cute selection of hand painted stones. There’s a small shop and cafe too to pad out your visit, however I’ll be heading to Dove Cottage for a more literature based tip next time.
Wordsworth House is on Main Street, Cockermouth and is open 1100-1700 except Friday.