Dove Cottage, Grasmere on Old Postcards

by David Murray on 3 November 2009

in Grasmere, Historic Houses, Poets

Many years ago I started to collect postcards, both old and new. Lake District postcards were a part of that. From time to time I go back to it.  Recently I was looking at an album containing several cards of Dove Cottage, Grasmere which 200 years ago was the home of the poet William Wordsworth.  Here are two of the cards.

Dove Cottage Grasmere, circa 1900

On this first one the postmark is not totally clear, but it is a Milton “ARTLETTE” card, a tinted photograph, posted in either 1900 or 1906.

Interestingly, the message on the back commences with, “We passed this cottage yesterday but could not afford to pay the 6d each to go in.”  It sounds very much like what you might hear from someone nowadays after a week of paying admission charges for one place after another – although I have to say that today’s charges at Dove Cottage are not unreasonable.

Dove Cottage, Grasmere, circa 1909

The second card is by Abraham’s of Keswick (no.229 in their series) and was posted in 1909.  Again it is a tinted photograph and views the house from a different angle.

It was in 1799 that William Wordsworth brought his family to live at Dove Cottage, and it was in this house not far from the lake at Grasmere that much of his greatest poetry was written.  It was here also that his sister Dorothy wrote her famous journals.

Other eminent poets and writers of the early/mid-19th century had a connection with Dove Cottage. Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were among the Wordsworths’ many visitors.  After the Wordsworths left in 1808 Thomas de Quincey lived there for many years.

The cottage and surrounding buildings now constitute an internationally important centre for literary research. The great majority of the original William Wordsworth manuscripts, in fact over 90% of those known to have survived, are now in the possession of the Wordsworth Trust which owns the Dove Cottage properties.

Major exhibitions are staged which are  open to the public in addition to the house itself, while the main document collection is accessible to accredited researchers by arrangement.  As with most Lake District venues, Dove Cottage is open around the year but check the web site for details, especially in winter when opening times may change.

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Lindsay Brown July 7, 2011 at 02:01

Would you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your site: http://www.around-england.co.uk/blog/dove-cottage-grasmere-on-old-postcards. I am going to aslo be certain to give you the appropriate anchor-text link using your blog title: Dove Cottage, Grasmere on Old Postcards | Around-England. Please be sure to let me know if this is okay with you. With thanks

David Murray July 7, 2011 at 12:11

Certainly, that’s ok Stephanie. If you could let me know where they are it would be much appreciated. Glad you enjoy the articles.

David Murray July 7, 2011 at 12:30

I’ve just noticed that there are two names on the comment you sent. I think I replied to the wrong one. Maybe I should have said, “Certainly, that’s ok Lindsay.”

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