Cumbria Crack

National Trust to sell Word-Hoard images at affordable art auction

Shreep, or “mist clearing slowly” from Loweswater, one of the Word-Hoard auction lots (R&J Macfarlane) and For sale: Sun-scald, which means “a patch of bright sunlight on the surface of water” (R&J Macfarlane)

[W]ordsworth House and Garden’s stunning Word-Hoard exhibition closes on Sunday 3 September and the following week there will be a chance to buy the original images at a special affordable art auction.

The National Trust is selling 22 of Rosamund and John Macfarlane’s photographs at the house on Thursday 7 September, with proceeds of the sale, which starts at 7.30pm, helping fund conservation work in the local countryside.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House’s visitor experience manager, said: “We’re hoping lots of people who’ve seen this lovely exhibition will bid for their favourite pictures. People are sometimes put off bidding at auctions because they’re afraid the prices will be too high, but we’ll be starting ours low – at just £25 for each lot – so it really will be affordable for everyone.”

The Word-Hoard: Love letters to our land celebrates the beauty of our landscape and the evocative language once used to describe it, and is a particularly appropriate exhibition for poet William’s childhood home.

Guest-curated by award-winning author Robert Macfarlane, it builds on themes he explored in his best-selling book Landmarks and features endangered words for natural features and phenomena he has collected.

The breathtaking images used to illustrate these colourful terms were taken by his parents, Cumbrian-based photographers Rosamund and John. They have generously donated the works, which have hand-drawn definitions by renowned calligrapher Susie Leiper on the mounts, to the National Trust.

Tickets for the sale are free, but places are limited. They can be reserved by emailing [email protected]. There is a catalogue of lots at

Anyone who would like to bid but is unable to be there in person can email the titles of the images they would like to buy, the amount they are willing to pay, plus their name and daytime phone number to the address above.

Or they can put these details in a sealed envelope marked “auction bid” and take it to the ticket desk at Wordsworth House on Main Street, Cockermouth. All advance bids must be received by 5pm on Tuesday 5 September.

Wordsworth House’s second exhibition of the year, Objects of Celebrity #1 The Bowder Stone, tells the bizarre story of “The Biggest Rock in the World” and the early thrill-seeking tourists who flocked to Borrowdale to see it.

It starts on Monday 11 September and is open every day except Friday, from 11am to 4pm, until Sunday October 29. Entry is free with admission to the house and garden.