Photo: James Dobson © National Trust
Allan Bank sheltered Wordsworth and his family from 1808 until 1811. He worked on The Excursion here and the beautiful child portrait, Characteristics Of A Child Three Years Old, was inspired by his daughter Catherine, who like her brother Willy was born at Allan Bank. Coleridge also toiled sporadically on his magazine, The Friend, assisted by Sara Hutchinson.
Wordsworth helped landscape the grounds, described by Dorothy as a ‘child’s paradise.’
During his tenancy Wordsworth concentrated on prose writing, principally a political pamphlet the Convention of Cintra, which concerned the lack of British support to Spain and Portugal against the French. This writing showed Wordsworth as a passionate man, who concerned himself with radical politics. In 1810 Wordsworth wrote an introductory chapter to a volume of drawings by a Rev Joseph Williamson, later published in his Guide to the Lakes, in which he said that the Lake District should be ‘A sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy’. This sentiment had a profound influence on the campaigner and conservationist Canon Rawnsley, a cofounder of the National Trust who bequeathed Allan Bank to the nation.
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Organisation: The National Trust