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Free entry weekend at Wordsworth House as anniversary exhibition opens

Portrait of William in middle age by an unknown artist. Credit: National Trust

Wordsworth House and Garden is marking the opening of its special exhibition celebrating 250 years since William’s birth by offering free entry this weekend (14 and 15 March).

‘The Child is Father of the Man’ reveals how the boy who grew up to be one of the world’s best-loved nature poets was shaped by his wild, outdoor upbringing in Cockermouth and the trauma that all-too-soon shattered this happy existence.

Zoe Gilbert, Wordsworth House and Garden’s visitor experience manager, said: “William’s ideas are as relevant today as they were two centuries ago. Before he put pen to paper, most people saw the natural world as either a source of food or a hostile wilderness.

“The poetry he wrote, supported by his sister Dorothy, reframed it as a place of wonder and refreshment for everyone to enjoy, ideas that led directly to the creation of the National Trust and the birth of the global conservation movement.

“To qualify for free entry on Saturday 14 or Sunday 15 March, all we ask is that visitors tell us how they heard about this offer.”

On show: William’s tinted glasses. Credit: The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere

‘The Child is Father of the Man’ features objects ranging from William’s ice skates, tinted spectacles and highly decorated inkwell to Dorothy’s baby bonnet.

Alongside insights from renowned Wordsworth expert Kathleen Jones and award-winning poet Helen Mort, specially-commissioned photographs by Simon Mooney focus on the ephemeral nature of childhood objects and what their loss or preservation means to us today.

Meanwhile, Wordsworth House and Garden is looking to recruit new volunteers to chat to visitors, act as tour guides and help in its refreshment area.

Zoe said: “Our volunteers play a key part in making Wordsworth House and Garden such a vibrant, welcoming place. We’re looking for people with a warm, friendly manner, and you don’t need any special knowledge or abilities, as we provide full training and support.”

Anyone interested is invited to call in for coffee and a chat between 10am and 1pm on Friday 20 March or email [email protected].

‘The Child is Father of the Man’ is open from Saturday to Thursday, 11am-4pm, until 8 November.

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