Wednesday, August 12, 2015

England, Day Seven

Today is our last day in the Lake District!  Tomorrow we will be heading south to visit for three more days before we depart out of Southampton.  Let's not think about leaving yet, let's enjoy our day going to Cockermouth to visit the childhood home of William Wordsworth.  Cockermouth is just outside of the Lake District in Cumbria.

On our way to Cockermouth we caught a glimpse of this beautiful hot air balloon!

See the beautiful stone wall going up the hill?  There were miles and miles of these gorgeous walls on our way to Cockermouth!

Herdwick Tup statue unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales on March 25, 2005

We passed a lovely church on our way.  As you can see we had a beautiful day--lovely blue skies!

We then see the childhood home of William Wordsworth.

As you can see William Wordsworth was from a wealthy family.  Let's park the car and check out the inside of this lovely Georgian home.

This is the birthplace of William Wordsworth.  The property is owned by the National Trust and they have left it as it would have been in the 1770's.

We'll enter the home through the front door.  This is the entrance.

We pass by lavendar and a lovely poppy filled wall.

Look up at the chimney pots before we go in!  Aren't they interesting?

We enter the home in a large foyer and we are directed to the Dining Room.

I am in awe over this beautiful room.  The dental mouldings and plaster ceilings are lovely!

We then went into the study and gazed upon this gorgeous secretary!

We then were guided into the most charming kitchen.

The ladies in the photo were preparing Rum Butter and invited us to have some.  It was delicious.  They offered a recipe for the butter and some information on its origin.

"The origin of Rum Butter is somewhat lost within the depths of time and there are several apparent stories about its origin, but what is certain is that it was popular and found throughout the area during the Georgian period.  Whitehaven played a role in the sugar and rum trade, and so it is reasonable to assume that most of the ingredients for rum butter in the Wordsworth's house had only travelled from Whitehaven.
Rum butter seems to have had and association with new born children in the Lake District area, and all the local women would have gathered to share a bowl of Rum butter, bestowing good luck upon the new child."

This recipe is based on one in the Cockermouth Cookery Book, from the 18th century.

Soft Brown Sugar   12 oz   340g
Butter                      8oz    225g
Rum                        3tbsp   45ml
Nutmeg(grated)       1/2 whole nutmeg, or 1 tsp
AllSpice                    Pinch

1. Mix the sugar and spices together.
2. Moisten the sugaar and spice mixture with rum.
3. Warm the butter until it is just melted, and then slowly stir it into the sugar mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into a basin and sprinkle with caster sugar.

They also shared a recipe for Kendal Gingerbread

Plain flour            1lb    450g
Butter                  8oz   225g
Dark brown sugar 8oz   225g
Ground ginger      3tsp    15ml
Salt                     pinch
Candied Lemon peel       A little

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees centigrade
2. Mix the dry ingredients
3. Rub in the butter
4. Press the mixture into greased flat baking tins, to a thickness of about 1cm
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes
6. Cut when hot, and remove from the tin when cooled

This makes a short gingerbread based upon the Lake District recipe from Kendal, making more of a hard biscuit that the more common softer gingerbread.  Gingerbread was extremely popular during the 18th century and several different recipes appear in the surviving cookbooks of the period.  The recipes have evolved from Medieval variations which use bread crumbs, into what we recognise today as gingerbread, which was often pressed into moulds to make shaped biscuits, occasionally of gingerbread men!

I have not tried these recipes, but hope to during the holidays.  I will have to translate the amounts and oven tempuratures when I do.

Let's look out the window at the walled garden!

Leaving the kitchen we take the stairs to view upstairs.  I love the detail on the stairs!

Upstairs Study

There were quotes of Wordsworth on several walls.

I love the tea service in this room.

The bedrooms are lovely.

This was a child's room filled with lovely toys.

Okay, it's clear I want to live here!  William Wordsworth enjoyed his childhood here with his family.  He was the second of five children of John and Ann Wordsworth.  The docent reminded us that William and his siblings enjoyed the outdoors as many children do.  They spent many hours playing in the creeks and fields that surrounded their home.

Going into the walled garden we enjoyed the lovely flowers and flowering apple trees.

We went into the tearoom for some lunch.  They had the best cream of mushroom soup I've ever eaten!  Also we had a giant cheese scone!

We enjoyed a lovely morning at the Wordsworth home and now we have more places to see today.  So stay tuned.


  1. This home reminds me of one you featured on this side of the pond in the beginning of your blog...will have to go back and look. How interesting to see Wordsworth's words on the walls. Very apt I think!

    1. Vee, this home could have been on this side of the pond for sure. Maybe it reminds you of Kenmore or Chatham or even Maymont? It reminded me of the homes we have toured in Colonial Williamsburg. Nice to see you today! ♥

  2. It looks like a most pleasant day! I love to tour old houses and being English ones would make it all the better. It sounds like a delicious lunch. Enjoyed peeking in on this day!

    1. This was a lovely home, Dotsie. There was so much attention to detail. I think the Georgian style home is my favorite! ♥

  3. Hi Martha Ellen. What absolutely beautiful pictures. Looking at the photos and reading your narratives made me feel as though I was there. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

    1. Joan, I certainly had the most gorgeous of scenery to photograph! Thank you for your kind words. I'm enjoying reliving our adventure and sharing it with you. ♥

  4. Don't you love all the stone walls! And the Wordsworth home is beautiful. I love the detail on that stairway! Hard to think of it being close to the end of the trip (even though it's in the past, it feels like the present with these posts!). Such wonderful countryside. Sigh. I enjoyed this trip.

    1. Judy, the stone walls in England are just incredible! As you know, miles and miles of dry stack walls that were built long ago. I don't want this trip to ever end. Maybe that's why I'm dragging it out...Lol. Let's go back soon, Judy! ♥

  5. The architecture is so lovely in England along with the landscape. That scone IS huge. I can see where it'd be a meal in itself with the soup. We've had amazing mushroom soup in a restaurant, too. I think we're too used to Campell's in a can! And the Rum Butter. Is that just put on bread? It sounds delicious and easy to make. Same with the gingerbread. Your pictures turned out beautifully.

    1. Cathy, the food in the National Trust tearooms was really good. This particular mushroom soup was so full of flavor! I didn't ask what kind of mushrooms they used. The Rum Butter was served with crackers. I'm sure it would be lovely on bread. ♥

  6. thank you so much for the lovely tour! Your first snap looks like a painting! I love England! Our daughter and her husband lived in the Yorkshire area for two years while he worked at the college in Leeds. The home is absolutely beautiful! Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    1. Shelia, the first photo was taken from our car. I was so happy to get a good shot from the vehicle as we were travelling along the road. How nice for your daughter to live in England for two years. That is something I would love to do! I hope you were able to visit her several times. Thanks for stopping by! ♥

  7. I am so glad you went to Wordsworth house, the kitchen is wonderful there. Your photo's are beautiful.
    Did you get to Dove Cottage, that is very sweet.
    I wonder where you go next.
    Fondly Michelle

    1. Michelle, I loved the charming kitchen at the Wordsworth home. I do realize that the fireplace and way of cooking was very dangerous back in the day. Ladies with their long dresses and fire so close must have been very scary. We did see Dove Cottage--it was so crowded when we were there, but we did enjoy its quaintness and simplicity. Thank you for coming with us on our adventure. ♥

  8. I am just tickled into fits of giggles looking at Grayden's beaming smile with that big serving of soup and the giant scone ~ he looks like the cat that got the cream.
    Yes, the National Trust are just so meticulous with their properties, always dressed to within an inch of the correct period. They are such a valuable resource.
    I cannot believe our journey through Merrie Olde England is nearly over. Get the tissues ready!

    1. Deb, the soup made us both very happy! If Grayden had taken a photo of me with that wonderful soup and scone you would have seen the same grin!
      I'm so impressed with the National Trust---it is such a wonderful organization. I'm so happy we learned more about it from Susan Branch. She really gave me the inspiration for this wonderful journey.
      I've got the tissues right here, dear one. We still were able to squeeze in so much more, so I'll continue to drag along. xo ♥

  9. What a beautiful Georgian home with so much history! Thank you so much for taking us on such a nice tour, Martha Ellen! It seems that whenever I visit a historic home, I am most drawn to the kitchen and the garden spaces. They must truly be the 'heart of the home' to me! I try not to think about all of the hard work and danger of cooking near an open flame while wearing a long skirt and apron. I just fantasize about how sweet it would be to try using all of the antique kitchen tools! The walled garden is filled with charm. Let's not rush our tour, dear Martha Ellen. Let's savor the magic of each beautiful place we visit! I'm enjoying every moment! ♡ Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes

    1. Dear Dawn, the kitchen and walled garden at the Wordsworth home would not disappoint you! There is gorgeous kitchen pottery and copper in the kitchen. I'm sure this home had servants and it must have been hard work for those whose tended to the Wordsworths. I can't help but think of those differences between now and then. The walled garden is so charming and full of all the flowers you and I would plant if we lived there.
      Don't worry about me rushing, I can't bear to leave England twice! xoxo ♥

  10. Hi Martha Dearest!!
    I have been visiting and catching up all day through your posts.You are a master at sharing your wonderful vacation experience!! And you photos and way of storytelling are book or magazine worthy!!!
    I just LOVE all you share!!! Just stunning!!!
    Sending you much warmth, Many many Blessings and love, Linnie

  11. Hi Martha my Dearest!!!
    Some how my comment from yesterday did not make it to you. So here I am again just reveling in all your wonderful posts!!
    I had wanted to share how much I was enjoying catching up with your WONDERFUL vacation! And that you are masterful with your camera and words, worthy of a book or magazine!! Every detail that you share gives me a thrill and makes me so joyful for the time that you and your hubby got to spend together enjoying such a magical country!!
    many many blessings, sending you much warmth, love and hugs, Linnie

    1. Dear Linnie, you are so kind, sweetie. As you can tell we had the most glorious time in England. I give all the credit of the photos to all the lovely things we viewed there. Grayden and I feel so blessed to have enjoyed such a wonderful trip and we are enjoying reliving it with you. Sending you love and happy days! xoxo ♥

    2. P.S. I have comment moderation on so that's why it took so long to see your sweet comment. ♥

  12. Oh, oh, oh. Every time I think that you have shown all of the most exciting things, you go ahead and give me another thrill!! The home of William Wordsworth. Be still my heart.

    It is indeed a lovely home, made even more lovely by imagining Mr. Wordsworth siting there at one of those desks penning his immortal words. (Of course, I realize that it was his childhood home, but I can imagine. Or at least I can imagine that some of his poems were inspired by his memories here.)

    Now you have me wondering where we're going next!

    1. William Wordsworth certainly grew up in a lovely home, Cheryl. You can be certain that his poems were inspired by his childhood. I think all that we've experienced as children and then as adults mold us into what we are today.
      We still have some wonderful places to visit. Thank you for sharing it with me! ♥

  13. I'm so enjoying this series, it brings back wonderful memories. We saw the field of daffodils that inspired the poem, but we were there at the wrong time of year and had to use our imagination :-)

    1. Thank you, Amalia. I'm sure your memories of England will stay with you as mine are. We saw fields of daffodils in Grasmere and thought about his beautiful poem. Have a lovely weekend. ♥

  14. I get so hungry when I read these posts: scones, my stomach growls for one. Another fantastic home. I love the kitchen best with all the pewter, crocks and open cupboards and the walled garden is superb. A person could get so many wonderful ideas from visiting such places and translate them into their own decor as a memory of the trip. Did you take away any such ideas that you may use in your own home or garden?

    1. Jeri, this kitchen was amazing! It was filled with all the elements I love also. Wouldn't I love to have a kitchen such as this! All the homes of this era in America had separate kitchens away from the home and I thought this to be interesting here in the Wordsworth home. Many ideas have come to mind since this trip. The English gardens are something to behold. I've been working on my gardens for over 40 years and don't think I have the energy to do much more with them, although I still try according to Grayden! ♥

  15. Your England travelogue is fabulous! You've given me so much enjoyment and pleasure with both your writing and lovely photos...they make me anxious to return to Great Britain.

    1. Thank you, Sandra! It's a pleasure sharing it with you! I so want to return, also! So much beauty and antiquity and charm. ♥


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