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" Family Visit to Wordsworth House "

Date & start time:    Sunday 29th July, 2018.

Location of Start :   Town centre, Cockermouth, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 118  307)

Places visited :         Wordsworth House . . . a National Trust property.

Walk details :             A short walk through town from the Fairfield car park.

Entrance Fee:            There is a ticket to buy to get in unless you're a Trust member.

Walked with :             Gareth and Rhian and grandsons, Alexander and Luke.

Weather :                    Overcast with occasional light rain.


It's cloudy and raining . . . well the school summer holidays have started haven't they,

so our son and daughter-in-law, Gareth and Rhian, preferred to visit an indoor location with Luke today.

I suggested Wordsworth House and soon a car full of people were heading down into Cockermouth for the afternoon.

Though only his home for the early years of his life, this house must have had a very formative influence on the 'poet to be'.

His father, John Wordsworth and his mother Ann lived here by virtue of John's job as a land agent for Sir James Lowther.

They had five children who grew up in the house between 1765 and 1783.

Sadly Ann died at the young age of 31 and John five years later aged just 42, leaving the children virtually destitute.

They were looked after by their extended family or sent away to boarding school.

The house has been refurbished to reflect the happier times of their life when the children were growing up by the river in Cockermouth.

The dining room . . . set with real food.
The local paper, important for news and John's job as land agent.
A map from the era . . . around the 1770's.
Zooming in on our part of the world.

You can see Loweswater (spelt without the 'e'), the Church, Godfred (Godferhead), Kirk Head, Thrush Bank

and the names of the long-gone farms houses of Bargate, Bank and Mill Hill.

[ Apologies for the quality but the pictures were all taken on my old phone . . . the house was so interesting, photography allowed and camera at home ]

Many of the staff were dressed in period costume and were keen to talk about their 'role' in  the household.

The cook sat alongside the charcoal hearth where the slower cooking food recipes like stew were prepared.

The main fireplace was good for faster cooking and grilling meat using the innovative 18th century rotisserie.

She explained about the oven, the hot water boiler and life as a kitchen maid and cook . . . and left us with a recipe.

The kid's bedroom . . . as tidy as ours kids kept theirs !

So many of the classic wooden toys were recognisable.
Mum and Dad's bedrooms were a lot tidier.

Outside was a classic walled garden with the river beyond.

The gardens were inundated in the recent floods but have been lovingly brought back to life

through the hard work of National Trust staff and volunteers.

A fine scarecrow . . . with his official NT badge too.
Words by William Wordsworth.

He refers of course to the River Derwent which flows beyond the end wall of the garden

and in which he and his brothers and sisters played and swam as children.

The gardens were important for relaxation but also for growing fruit and vegetables to feed the household.

Meet the chickens . . . providers of eggs and presumably meat.
A quiet side garden with a Keswick Coglin apple tree.

Coincidentally, the Coglin is one of the trees that I've planted in my paddock recently. I hope mine grows as well as this one.

An altogether interesting and friendly visit.
Back home the day finished with a lovely red sunset on the fells.

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Only the youngest child was in bed early.


Dylan wonders what do the rest of us do now ?


One family tradition is to play a game called "Mad Patience"


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You may well know the 'quiet game' of patience or solitaire . . . where you place four cards and a pile of thirteen in front of you

and then build up in numeric sequence on any aces dealt from your remaining cards. 

To end up with all cards placed on the table in sequence (i.e. four piles from ace to king) is classed as success.

In "mad patience" add one pack of cards for each player, a large table . . . and preferably a plain table cloth !

Any player can add to their own or to any one else's aces in the centre . . . first one to clear all thirteen card from their stack calls STOP !

Concentration is the name of the game . . . the one with the most cards placed on the centre by the end is the winner.

You can only use one hand to place cards . . .
. . . and must remove any 'kings' (completed stacks) to make space.

Five bonus points for placing a king, ten for 'going out' first, and one point for every card placed.

A full round involved everyone moving chairs each turn so everyone gets a go at the good and bad packs of cards

or good and bad positions on the table.  It is essential to have different coloured backs to the cards for counting afterwards.

Try it . . . best of luck . . . it rounds off a family day out very nicely.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my old Samsung mobile phone.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . multiple sets of playing cards in a cupboard somewhere.

Go to Top . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 28th July - Cathy, Gareth and Rhian

A previous time up here - Sorry our previous visit is not on file so try the National Trust site for more information.

Pictures and poems from the Wordsworth 250 Anniversary Exhibition prepared by the Kirkgate Heritage Group in 2020.

Next walk - 30th July - The Buttermere Bridges