“A spirit of pleasure and youth’s golden gleam;
And think ye not with radiance more
For these remembrances, and for the
They had left behind.”
– William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book 12 lines 262-269
Rydal Mount was the Wordsworth’s family home from 1813 until William’s death in 1850 at the age of 80. Today (7th April 2020) is the 250th anniversary of his birth and it is 50 years since Wordsworth’s descendants (who still own the house) opened the house and gardens to the public.
In September 2019 I organised a five-day tour to the Lake District. Despite a day of torrential rain, we spent a wonderful afternoon at Rydal Mount enjoying a private tour of the house and gardens with the curators of the house, Emily and Matt, who then treated us all (30 people) to a delicious cream tea in Wordsworth’s Drawing Room. I’m delighted to share the following message from Emily on this special 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth:
“As most of us sit in our houses in isolation in order to keep healthy, perhaps now is a time to reflect on how life affirming group gatherings can be. Connecting with others in person can be a source of shared memories and moments. At such a time as this, when we’re separated by quarantine, these memories can sustain us, and also remind us of what we can look forward to once again, when we’re through this experience.
A wonderful memory from the summer of 2019 was when Sue Stamp and her group came to visit Rydal Mount. It was an abysmal afternoon in late summer. Gloomy skies, gusts of chilly wind and vicious daggers of icy rain greeted the group as they arrived. Some were hardy and went for a soggy, windblown tramp around the garden; others wisely chose to sit that bit out and thaw out in the Drawing Room.
Image credits: Main image of house – taken by Joe Wainwright/ other images by Sue Stamp
Quote: William Wordsworth – The Prelude, Book 12, lines 266-269