The Wordsworth Trust has unveiled further details of its £6.2m project to bring the poet’s story into the 21st century by enchancing its museum and his former home.
Culminating in April 2020, the 250th anniversary of William Wordsworth’s birth, the project will preserve Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Cumbria, where he lived with sister Dorothy.
The Wordsworth Museum, which houses a collection of Wordsworth’s manuscripts, books and fine art, will also be expanded and modernised with new galleries and an introductory exhibition. Wordsworth’s manuscripts will be interpreted using new interactive methods and contemporary voices will celebrate their modern-day relevance to give visitors a closer insight into his poetry.
Dove Cottage will undergo an "authentic" restoration recreating the home that the Wordsworths would have known in 1800. An introductory film will set the scene and the orchard the Wordsworths maintained will be recreated in the garden.
The project will also open up a woodland space, promote new walking trails, and create a new courtyard in the heart of the site. A viewing station will also enable visitors to connect Wordsworth’s poetry to the landscape that inspired him.
A new learning space will also host pop-up events, exhibitions and workshops, engaging community groups, schools and colleges with daily events during term-time, evening events for adults and family activities at weekends and holidays.
Michael McGregor, director of the Wordsworth Trust, said: "We are delighted to announce further plans for Reimagining Wordsworth in the lead of up to the national 250th anniversary celebrations. Wordsworth the poet was a revolutionary whose work and ideas are still relevant to our lives today. By taking a fresh new look at his work, the project will bring his story up to date, welcome old and new audiences – both locally and globally – and transform Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum into a dynamic destination for creativity, inspiration and enjoyment.”
The project is funded by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £4.1m, along with £1m in match funding and other grants and donations.