Wordsworth House Flood Damage
Nearby Brothers Water
A Labour of Love - Cockermouth, England
There was a time when meadow, grove and stream,
The earth and every common sight
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore; --
Turn whereso'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
From Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth
The gardens, of Wordsworth's childhood home in Cockermouth, and the nearby booming lake land splendour, played muse to many of his poems. Run by the National Trust, the 18th century gardens have been recreated with painstaking accuracy using only heritage plants along with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs that would have been grown for use in the kitchens.
The flooding of Cockermouth in November 2009, devastated the gardens presenting the Wordsworth House gardeners with the heftily expensive challenge of replacing hard to source items.
Greengages and Quince were on the shopping list and the rebuilding of the garden walls needed sandstone of a precise shade and cut.
Step forward, the at first glance surprise hero, Bovril who donated £20,000 to help with the garden's restoration as part of an overall gift of £100,000 to the National Trust for restoration of special outdoor areas. The public voted to select the five most deserving projects and Wordsworth House shared the spoils with East Riddlesden Hall, Cragside, Devil's Dyke and Watersmeet.
Restoration will involve replanting the terrace and cut flower beds, building a Summer House, installing trellising for fruit trees and roses and, in the words of Gardener Amanda Thackeray making "William's childhood garden even lovelier than before". Work is due to be completed this summer when it will be enjoyed not only by visitors but by the planned arrival of some scots dumpy chickens into their bespoke hen house.
- For full details of the Bovril Revival scheme including some specially designed winter walks around the projects visit www.bovril.co.uk/revival