Historic Building sights in Cumbria & The Lakes
- Sort by:
In centuries past, promising young gentleman were sent to Hawkshead's village school for their educational foundation. Among the former pupils was a certain William Wordsworth, who attended the school from 1779 to 1787. The curriculum was punishing: 10 hours' study a day, covering weighty subjects such as Latin, Greek, geometry, science and rhetoric. Hardly surprising young Willie (amongst others) felt the urge to carve his name into one of the desks.
Upstairs is a small exhibition exploring the history of the school.
John Ruskin (1819–1900), the great Victorian polymath, philosopher and critic, was one of the formeost thinkers of 19th-century British society, expounding views on everything from Venetian architecture to the finer points of traditional lace-making.
In 1871 he purchased this impressive house overlooking Coniston, and spent the next 20 years expanding and modifying it. The house is a monument to Ruskin's belief in the value of traditional 'Arts and Crafts' over factory-made materials: he helped design everything from the furniture to the garden terraces, and even dreamt up some of the wallpaper designs. Look out for his enormous shell collection in the downstairs…
This tiny, creeper-clad cottage on the edge of the village famously belonged to William Wordsworth. He arrived here with his sister Dorothy in 1799 before being joined in 1802 by his new wife, Mary, and soon after, three children – John, Dora and Thomas – who were born here in 1803, 1804 and 1806.
The tiny cottage was a cramped but happy home for the growing family until 1808, when it was subsequently rented by Thomas de Quincey (author of Confessions of an English Opium Eater).
Like nearby Rydal Mount, the cottage's cramped rooms are full of artefacts: keep your eyes peeled for the poet's passport, a pair of his spectacles and a portrait of his favourite dog Pepper,…