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Pictures of Grasmere

a Picturesque Village in the county of Cumbria

About Grasmere

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This tiny stone village is beautifully set between the tranquil waters of Grasmere Lake and the jagged heights of Helm Crag and Nab Scar. Close-by is a beautiful natural arena where the famous Grasmere Sports are staged each August, this event perpetuates many Lakeland traditions. Local sheepdog trials are held in the village at around the same time.

The village and its valley are seen at their best from the surrounding hills To the left of the village is the Swan Hotel and it is reputed that Sir Walter Scott had breakfast here whilst staying with the celebrated poet Wordsworth. Born in 1770, William Wordsworth died at his home Rydal Mount in the year 1850 a few days after his 80th birthday. His years here were happy and productive, he must have drawn much inspiration from the beauty and tranquility of this spectacular Lakeland area.

William and his devoted sister Dorothy, lived in a delightful stone cottage situated beyond the village church where a lane skirts the fields before reaching Town End and a pretty cluster of stone slate roofed cottages with glorious westward views. They moved together into Dove Cottage, originally an inn called the Dove and Olive Bough for which they paid an annual rent of 8.00. In the year 1782 the poet married Mary Hutchinson, and three of their children were born at Dove Cottage during the following four years.
In 1808, the Wordsworths moved to Allan Bank and the cottage became the home of their friend Thomas de Quincey, author of The Confessions of an English Opium Eater.

The Wordsworth Museum, a short distance from Dove Cottage , contains many of Wordsworth's personal possessions and there is also a reconstruction of a typical farmhouse kitchen.

Allan Bank, where the Wordsworths lived until 1811 is not open to visitors. The poet and his family spent the next two years at the Rectory opposite the Church of St. Oswald before moving to Rydal Mount which is situate on the road between Grasmere and Ambleside where the great man was to spend the rest of his life.

There are many pleasant building in and around Grasmere and just past the Swan Hotel, at a point close to the River Rothay an old creeper covered house stands by the bridge. It is perhaps one of the most attractive houses in the village. Grey-green and purple tinged stone shops, houses and cottages flank Broad Street which has a pleasant little green at it's junction with College Street. Several hotels are clustered in the heart of Grasmere, before the main road reaches the Church on the bank of the Rothay. The small building by the lych gate was the village school from 1660 until 1854.

William Wordsworth knew the village church of St.Oswald well, he described it in his epic poem, The Excursion, thus it is immortalised forever. In the church, near the alter, an inscribed profile in white marble depicts Wordsworth between graceful daffodils and bluebells.

Every year on a Sunday nearest to 5th August, St.Oswalds day, a colourful, rush bearing procession wends it's way through Grasmere to the church. The ancient ceremony, kept alive in Grasmere and a few other villages in the North of England dates from the time when church floor were bare earth and had rushes spread over them for warmth and cleanliness. Grasmere's church was paved with flagstones in the 19th-century but this symbolic ceremony continues today.

As you wander through this delightful village, beauty abounds all around in the form of towering peaks, magnificent lakes and glistening waterfalls, coupled with enchanting buildings and the romance of a famous English poet, you will surely ask ' who could wish for anything more' for this whole area is majesty and peace beyond compare.

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