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Photo: © Hawkshead Grammar School Museum

Hawkshead Grammar School Museum

Wordsworth attended Hawkshead Grammar School from ages 8-16. The school was started in 1585 to educate the sons of Protestant families after the Reformation. It taught Latin and Greek grammar, arithmetic, geometry, sciences, modern history and the classics with the aim of preparing boys for entrance to Cambridge. Lessons were in Latin and Greek and attendance at the neighbouring church was compulsory. Boys boarded with local families in and around Hawkshead. Wordsworth and his brothers stayed in Colthouse, about half a mile away along the shore of Esthwaite Water. Wordsworth liked to walk around the lake and roam the fields before and after school, and it is easy to imagine that today as both the museum and the village of Hawkshead look much as they did in Wordsworth’s day.

Visiting: A curator is available to show visitors around and tours are held hourly. Visitors can see the main school room, which still contains the wooden benches the boys sat on (and carved with their pocket knives). There is the headmaster’s study on the stairs and an upstairs room displaying further collections of historic artefacts, some of which date from the sixteenth century. The Museum also contains the old school library of rare books, which Wordsworth donated to, and which the Governors are working towards making available for public viewing.

Useful Information

Hawkshead Grammar School Museum,
Main St,
LA22 0NT

Open 1st April – 31st October
Mon-Sat. 10am-1pm, 2pm-5pm
Tours hourly, on the hour. Closed Sunday.

Organisation: Hawkshead Grammar School Foundation