Tuesday, 7 March 2017

England Day 8: Embroidery Retreat Day 5

Today was excursion day. We set off at 8.45am for Dove Cottage, the Wordsworths' home in Grasmere. It was chilly but very clear as we set out.

It was a lovely drive to Grasmere in our bus from Appleby driven by Tony, who drove us around Scotland on the Scottish Highlands tour.

Every image is conjured by, and conjures, poetry and music.

The tiny bridge house.

The sheepfolds did indeed seem calm and tranquil this morning.

At Dove Cottage, home of the Wordsworths from 1799 to 1808, we were privileged to have a private tour. There are many moving artefacts, including William Wordsworth's spectacles and a cushion embroidered by Dorothy Wordsworth.

Our guide read from Dorothy's diary and, in the garden, read William's "To a butterfly".

We were then treated to morning tea with gingerbread in the cottage before we moved on to the museum!

 In contrast to Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth Trust Museum is a purpose-built modern building with plenty of light. We were privileged to have the curator show us some extraordinary documents and artefacts - letters and books written and published by the Wordsworths and a number of their friends.

We were allowed to photograph some of these for our own personal use - and we all got quite excited by some.

From Dove Cottage we went to Blackwell Arts and Crafts House near Bowness where we had lunch and a tour of the ground floor.

Blackwell is extraordinarily beautiful - light and airy with views at all angles over the landscape and exquisite detail in wood, textile, glass,metal, plaster and ceramic.

Everywhere there was elegance and inspiration

- even music.

Back at our hotel we are relaxed and reflective - conscious that we have spent a day in places of greatness and beauty - connecting us not just to the past, but to the continuity of ideas and creativity.


  1. You are having gorgeous weather! That photo with the sheep and the cottage is my favourite.

    I also love the wood carving of the leaves and berries. It looks like a continuous border -- do you have a wider photo with a few repeats? Looks potentially quilty to me!

    1. No, I'm afraid I don't Monica. It wasn't repeated in a panel, but was one of several carved free- standing motifs around the room. I wish I'd photographed others as well. There were also plaster ones.i did photograph one of those. They produce a well illustrated guide book, but don't have any at the moment!

    2. Thanks, Jillian. I've been thinking of a way to extend it that could be quite nice. I LOVE Arts & Crafts design!