A project to renovate William Wordsworth’s former home has been completed thanks to a huge cash boost.
The team at Allan Bank house in Grasmere were able to make the most of time closed during the pandemic to tackle longstanding woodworm damage to structural timbers in the cellar and ground floor.
Thanks to a financial boost from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the £45,000 project was able to go ahead between January and March.
For more than a year and a half the ground floor of the building has been supported by scaffolding in the cellar, where the damp environment has resulted in serious woodworm issues.
The condition of the building suffered further damage in April last year when the ceiling of Coleridge’s former bedroom collapsed.
The project has involved replacing rotten timbers for structural integrity as well as installing some additional supporting beams in the cellar. Traditional lath and plaster were used to rebuild Coleridge’s bedroom ceiling.
Where possible the original timber has been salvaged and floorboards have been replaced in their original locations so the changes should be almost invisible from ground floor level.
Work to improve drainage and ventilation were also carried out.
Emma Wright, National Trust Collections and House Manager, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding from the Culture Recovery Fund.
“Whilst we are raring to welcome visitors back into the house at Allan Bank as soon as government guidelines allow, it has been good to have this time behind closed doors to complete this essential work, ensuring that Allan Bank remains standing for our visitors to enjoy well in to the future.”
Allan Bank sits on woodland grounds with stunning views over Grasmere and the fells beyond. With a rich history of notable tenants including William Wordsworth and National Trust co-founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, in the past, Allan Bank has been a hub of creativity and reform.
Since opening its doors to the public in 2011, Allan Bank has welcomed many visitors to enjoy a relaxed and informal day out.
While the house remains closed, the garden and woodland grounds at Allan Bank are open for pre-booked visits. The team hope to have parts of the house open by May 17 if government guidelines allow.