Tag: Allan Bank

  • Allan Bank - National Trust Property

    Allan Bank is a large Georgian house overlooking the village of Grasmere, once home to the late poet William Wordsworth. The house is perched on a rocky hillside above the village with the view of a craggy fell behind.

    In 1808, Wordsworth and his wife Mary moved into Allan bank with their three children. Also living with them was Mary’s sister and their literacy acquaintances, Thomas De Quincy and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They lived in the house for two years but moved out shortly after as the chimneys smoked excessively and arguments with the landlord took place. The house was brought in 1915 by Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, a founder of the National Trust. He brought the house after he retired and spent his retirement in the picturesque village of Grasmere. The house was left to the National Trust in 1920 after his passing.

    In March 2011, a huge fire broke out at Allan Bank, one of the largest fires Grasmere has ever seen. After the fire, the National Trust decided that the house should be restored and open to the public. The house has undergone an extensive restoration project with the building being left as a blank canvas for visitors to decide it’s future.

    Jeremy Barlow, the National Trust’s General Manager for the Central and East Lakes, explained how visitors can influence the appearance of the house;

    “This won’t be like other historic houses – you won’t find Wordsworth’s spectacles laid on a desk in his study. In each of the rooms we’ve given our visitors hints about the fascinating history of this lovely home and the chance to be creative in the way so many of it’s former occupants were.

    Each of the rooms of the house has been given a theme. The framed artists of the Heaton Copper family, who have a gallery in Grasmere village, have helped create the art room where visitors will be inspired by sketches of Allan Bank and the Lake District. In the room where Wordsworth once slept, we’ll be encouraging visitors to help us design the planting of the gardens, while song lyrics and famous quotes will inspire the writing on the wall – literally – in the literature room. Interior designers can get arty and even help influence the future paint colours of the interior, and there will be some intriguing ways of bringing the outdoors indoors in yet another of the interactive rooms”.

    The house is open most days during the summer and only a short period during winter. To avoid disappointment please check the opening times through the link provided.

    To find out more about Allan Bank and to plan your visit, visit:

    https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

  • Local Artist Christine Shaw

    Local artist Christine Shaw will be displaying her artwork at Allan Bank in Grasmere from the 4th April till the end of May. Christine has combined fine pen and ink with Japanese papers to create striking original pieces of art. The artwork can be brought with a percentage of the sales going towards supporting Allan Bank for the future.

    To find out more about the event visit

    https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/events/80914e3c-2a08-448f-9199-9ac7a32c218a/pages/details

    Our social media assistant, Holly Goddard contacted Christine to find out more about the exhibition and her work. 

    A brief description of yourself and your work

    Christine Shaw

    'I was Born in Glasgow, Scotland where I studied Textile Design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee graduating in 1979. I then moved to Manchester to study for a Post Graduate Diploma in Clothing Technology. Having completed my studies, I moved to the Lake District to take up an offer of seasonal work in Grasmere and never left. Having recently retired from our family business designing and retailing fabrics and knitwear which were exported around the World I am enjoying having time to combine two of my favourite things, Japan and Art. Many of my customers were Japanese and I found the culture fascinating. I like to combine Japanese paper with fine pen drawing using Rotring Pen or Derwent Pens and pencils which are made locally, so feel I am mixing a little of the Lake District with Japan. Although I do have a few Limited Edition Risograph prints for sale most of my work is original, I like the concept of someone being able to purchase a unique work of art.'

    Is there anything in particular that inspires your work?

    'I think  my Artist statement says it all. I love the Lake District and also Japan. We used to have a little group in Grasmere of Japanese working in the area and those of us trying to learn the language. We had Damson (instead of Cherry blossom viewing) Moon viewing parties and lots of cookery fun. Having originally trained as a textile designer Japan has everything I adore, stunning texts and kimono fabrics, washiest paper, exquisite stationery, pens and pencils.'

     Have displayed your work at Allan Bank in the past?

    'I did work at Allan Bank when it opened as a property and was there for several years. It is a place that gets under your skin and I am happy to be able to help raise money for the upkeep of this property through my art work. I have previously exhibited at Case Art in Glasgow and a solo exhibition at National Trust Church Stile in Grasmere.'

    Christine’s work is available from the Bumblebee Gallery in Kendal and will be available later this year at Beck Steps Gallery in Grasmere. To find out more about the Bumblebee Gallery visit

    https://www.bumblebeegallery.co.uk

    Christine also works part time at the Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere. To find out more about the Heaton Cooper Studio visit

    https://www.heatoncooper.co.uk

    Alternatively, you can follow Christine on Twitter @cragchris or email  cragchris@msn.com

    Christine also writes a series of blogs on Grasmere village, the Lake District and her art which can be found below

    https://amblesideart.wordpress.com/

    https://grasmerevillage.wordpress.com/

    https://englishlakes.wordpress.com/

    Christine has done a lot for Greens over the years and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her ongoing support.

  • Who was William Wordsworth

    Known for its beautiful walks and breath – taking landscapes the Lake District is also famous for its connections with lake poet William Wordsworth. His connections to the lakes can be found in the bustling village of Grasmere.

    William Wordsworth was born on 7th April 1770 in a fine Georgian house in Cockermouth, which is now known as Wordsworth House. William was one of four children with two brothers and sister Dorothy.

    Wordsworth House - Home of William Wordsworth - Cockermouth

    Much of William’s childhood was spent in Cockermouth and Penrith where he attended infant school. Attending infant school with William was his soon to be wife Mary Hutchinson. William attended the Grammar School in Hawkshead, where he received encouragement from his headmaster to read and write poetry. During this time, he made regular visits to the countryside to gather inspiration from nature. Pursing his career in poetry he attended St. Johns College in Cambridge, where he received a bequest of £900. This gave him the means to pursue his chosen career.

    In 1797 the Wordsworths stayed in Alfoxden House, where they met Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey. In the years to follow a relationship between William and Coleridge grew. Soon after William and Coleridge undertook a tour of the lakes, starting at Temple Sowerby and finishing at Wasdale Head, via Grasmere. While in Grasmere they noticed Dove Cottage and an empty Inn called the Dove and Olive Branch.

    Dove Cottage - Grasmere

    Shortly after William and Dorothy moved into Dove Cottage, where they lived for the next nine years. Dorothy became William’s secretary as William dedicated his career and life to poetry. In 1802 William married Mary Hutchinson, and the first of their five children were born shortly after. The family outgrew Dove Cottage, so they moved to Allan Bank for two years, and then on to Rydal Mount.

    Allan Bank - Grasmere

    Rydal Mount - Rydal

    William died in 1850 and Marty in 1859. Both William and Mary’s tombstones can be found in the churchyard of St. Oswald’s Church in the centre of Grasmere.

    Tombstones of William and Mary Wordsworth

    Wordsworth wrote over 70,000 lines of verse which is more than 40,000 lines more than any other poet. One of his most famous poems is ‘I wondered lonely as a cloud’. The poem is commongly known as daffodils and explores the poet’s friendship with nature, and how the memory of daffodils dancing cheers him up whenever he recalls them. Other poems include ‘Composed under Westminster Bridge’, ‘London 1802’, and ‘Tintern Abbey’.

    To see more of Wordsworth’s visit https://interestingliterature.com/2017/03/06/10-of-the-best-william-wordsworth-poems-everyone-should-read/

    Most of Wandsworth’s connections to Grasmere such as Dove cottage, Allan Bank, and Wordsworth House have been turned into museums or a National Trust attraction. Feel free to explore them on your next visit to the lakes, where you will find links for them below.

    Dove Cottage: https://wordsworth.org.uk/

    Allan Bank: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/allan-bank-and-grasmere

    Wordsworth House and Garden: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house