Posted 8th November by Peter Byrne
The Wordsworth Trust is based in Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's home, in the inspirational landscape of the Lake District
The area was recently designated a UNESCO heritage site (July 2017) and is a unique cultural-travel destination. Wordsworth is one of the few writers in the world whose original works are held and enjoyed in the place where they were created, and is just as breathtaking and influential today.
UNESCO commented: "The Romantic engagement with the English Lake District generated new ideas about the relationship between humanity and its environment, including the recognition of harmonious landscape beauty and the validity of emotional response by people to their landscapes. A third key development was the idea that landscape has a value, and that everyone has a right to appreciate and enjoy it. These ideas underpin the global movement of protected areas and the development of recreational experience within them."
William Wordsworth is considered one of Britain's greatest poets, having helped to revolutionise English literature. The Trust is therefore working to keep his connection with the inspirational Lake District strong for all to enjoy - Wordsworth lived at the cottage during what was known as the 'golden decade', moving into the former pub with his sister, Dorothy just before Christmas, 1799. It was here that he wrote the majority of his most famous works, which included 'The Prelude' and 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'.
The Trust is an independent charity, which is funded by a combination of visitor income, private donations and corporate sponsors and trusts, Arts Council England and South Lakeland District Council. As well as the historic buildings of Town End, the Trust looks after a significant collection of works by Wordsworth and other writers and artists of the period, including the Dorothy Grasmere Journals.
The Trust is currently undergoing a development project 'Reimagining Wordsworth' to bring his poetry into the 21st Century with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project is to provide an accessible and interesting location to both visit and learn whilst bringing Wordsworth's poetry alive across the globe. 2020 marks Wordsworth's 250th birthday and the date when the project hopes to reach completion.
Currently in the development phase, a strategic fundraising programme is in place to raise the final £1 million match funding needed to make the £6.2 million project a reality.
These plans include expanding and modernising The Wordsworth Museum and making Dove Cottage more authentic and atmospheric. Outdoor spaces will be developed with more areas for people to explore, learn and enjoy, with a redesigned cage offering visitors and residents a place to relax in unique surroundings. Further workshops and learning experiences are to take place all year round as well as activities for visitors of all ages.
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