The changing face of Wordsworth House

18 Jan

Amanda’s been delving into the National Trust’s fascinating online photographic library and has found some wonderful images of her garden – and the house exterior – in decades gone by.

The only problem is there are no dates on any of them. We’ve managed to work out a few, but with others it’s been impossible. If anyone out there thinks they can help, please let us know!

The only thing we know for certain about the picture above is that it dates from pre-1985, as that’s when the house got a coat of Georgian-style terracotta limewash – the colour it still wears. This ‘new’ colour was based on fragments of 18th-century limewash found under the eaves, but local paper The Times & Star reported at the time: ‘It does little to enhance the appearance of the building’!

This image shows a similar view – judging by the outfit of the woman pushing the pram – taken some time before the Second World War.

Sticking with pictures of the house front, we’re guessing this might be specially invited guests leaving after enjoying tea on the lawn on 3 June 1939 to mark the public opening of Wordsworth House and Garden. The property was gifted to the National Trust by the town the year before, after being saved from demolition to make way for a bus garage!

Look out in a coming post for some archive images of the back garden…


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