Saturday, November 03, 2007

Grasmere: excursions

Rydal Mount, Wordsworth's home near Ambleside:
Sara and Natsuko on the grounds at Rydal Mount:

At the Mirehouse estate, I found myself standing in the graveyard of a thousand-year-old church, in the rain. It just doesn't get much more Romantic than that.

Abbotsford, home of Sir Walter Scott:

It's an adolescent fantasy of a castle, complete with an "armory" full of random weapons, armor, and animal skulls. Bonus: it's located in Scotland.
Remember when I had to read Scott's Heart of Midlothian? At some point, Scott came into possession of the actual lock and keys from the titular prison: That's not an Extreme Close-Up, by the way; those keys are huge.

I was quite taken with this turret-y thing on the grounds at Abbotsford. It had a spiral staircase, and gargoyles, and everything. It turned out to be the game larder.

Here we all are at Wordsworth's grammar school in Hawkshead.That's the tour guide's hand in the lower right corner of the second picture, holding a schoolmaster's cane. He seemed personally offended by the fact that the Victorians had "modernized" the Elizabethan-era schoolhouse by putting big windows in it and painting the walls white.

The wooden desks in the school had several hundred years' worth of students' names and initials carved into them. Based on his research, the tour guide reckoned that this is where Wordsworth carved his initials, although there are a couple of other spots that could have been his:

This is the waterfall at Aira Force. Wordsworth wrote a poem about it. Here's Spratley, reading it on location.


Heidi said...

Hurrah! Now I know what the inside of the school looks like. I have pictures of the outside of it, but wasn't about to spend the money to walk around one room. :-D

Nicole said...

you look quite taken with the turret-y thing. that is the best picture ever.