William Wordsworth's Birthplace To Get £800,000 Refit.

By Richard Moss | 22 April 2003
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Shows Wordsworth House in Cockermouth.

Left: Wordsworth's birthplace is to be transformed to show visitors the nitty gritty of 18th century life. Photo: National Trust Photo Library/Magnus Rew.

The National Trust has secured a grant of nearly £800, 000 for a major programme of improvements and changes at William Wordsworth's Lakeland birthplace.

The money will be used to transform Wordsworth House at Cockermouth in Cumbria giving visitors a 'new and exciting and interactive experience.'

Kate Hilton, Custodian of the house said: "we are absolutely over the moon. This is our chance to create something really unique that will draw people in from far and wide."

Already popular with Lakeland tourists, the house boasts seven rooms furnished in a Regency style and some personal effects of the poet. There is also a fine walled Georgian garden with terrace overlooking the River Derwent and a teashop and restaurant.

With the proposed improvements it is hoped the public will now be able to enjoy a real 'warts and all' taste of the way life was during Wordsworth's boyhood years. Living history days are planned as well as new interactives to interpret the poet's life story. There will also be an extension to the Learning Room to accommodate larger groups of school children.

£480,000 of the money is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with matched funding from Cumbria Rural Development Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and the National Trust.

"We've been working very hard for this over the last two years and its wonderful to finally secure the money we need," said Hilton. "It's great news for the National Trust and for Cockermouth."

Wordsworth was born at the house on April 7,1770 and lived there until his mother died in 1778. It is just one of several essential stopping off points in Lakeland for tourists interested in the literary scene of the Romantic period.

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