William Wordsworth and Ambleside

William Wordsworth worked in Ambleside at The Old Stamp House from 1813-43 when he was Distributor of Stamps for Westmoreland.

In 1818 John Keats visited and stayed at The Salutation Hotel in Lake Street. In 1835 both Alfred, Lord Tennyson, when he was working on ‘Morte d’Arthur’, and Edward Fitzgerald stayed at the Salutation. The hotel is still in business today.

Harriet Martineau

Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) was a journalist, pamphleteer and novelist, and was a friend of Darwin. She built The Knoll, where she lived and wrote from April 1846 until her death.

Wordsworth helped with the garden landscaping: He planted two pine trees and chose the inscription for her sundial. Charlotte Bronte stayed for a week in 1850.

Harriet Martineau campaigned locally for improved housing, sanitation and drainage. This led to the formation of the first building society in the north of England in February 1849. She published a Complete Guide to the English Lakes in 1854.

Both Keats and Wordsworth wrote about the waterfall, Stockghyll Force.


The nomadic journalist, Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859) lived at Fox Ghyll, Loughrigg, from 1820 –1825, when he wrote Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1822) and contributed to the London Magazine.

Matthew Arnold met Charlotte Bronte and Harriet Martineau at Loughrigg Holme, the home of poet Edward Quillinan and Dora (Wordsworth’s daughter) in 1850.

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