Shepherds to Char-a-bancs

Saturday 14th November 2015 to Sunday 28th February 2016 - This event has finished

Discover Dove Cottage

Time: 9:30am to 5:00pm daily
Email: enquiries(at)
Telephone: 015394 35544
Town: Grasmere
County: Cumbria
Postcode: LA22 9SH
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The Shepherds to Char-a-bancs: Changing Life in Grasmere exhibition, curated by The Grasmere History Society, explains the transformation of the Lake District village through the stories of residents. In 1810, Wordsworth described the inhabitants of the Vale of Grasmere as a ‘republic  of agriculturalists and shepherds’. But just 100 years later it had become a thriving centre for tourists with new residents, new tourism businesses and a bustling flow of visitors.

The exhibition has been inspired by an 1859 survey map of Grasmere being presented to The Wordsworth Trust by Donald Woodburn. Visitors will get to know the stories of Molly Fisher, the Wordsworths’ daily help, as well as Ned Wilson, a carpenter, who mended and created various items for the local community.  James Fleming was a yeoman farmer, John Watson a blacksmith, Richard Baisbrown, a stonebreaker and Thomas Hardy, a taxi driver. Advancements in travel, trade and leisure-time made it easier than ever before for people to visit Grasmere and follow in the footsteps of one of their favourite poets. Swanny Wilson, opened the Easedale Tearooms and this new business reflected this change.

The journal of Sarah Hutchinson, Wordsworth’s niece, provides personal insights into the social life of Grasmere people. Lastly, the histories of the buildings themselves will be made personal by the story of Levi Hodgson, a self-made builder. The story of Grasmere’s evolution will be brought alive with objects belonging to local residents as well as maps, artefacts and images from the Wordsworth Trust’s collection. Running alongside Shepherds to Char-a-bancs, there will be activities for families and children such as making a ‘rushbearing’ from the traditional Grasmere Rushbearing ceremony and creating 2D and 3D maps taking inspiration from the exhibition.

Shepherds to Char-a-bancs Exhibition - Your Events & What's On Guide for Grasmere