THE North home of William Wordsworth was damaged by a blaze in the early hours of yesterday.
Five fire crews were called to Allan Bank, in Cumbria’s Grasmere, after a fire broke out in the roof and spread to the first floor of the house once inhabited by the poet laureate.
The tenants of the property, which now belongs to the National Trust, escaped unharmed. An investigation was launched yesterday to determine how the damage to the historic country home happened.
Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the three founders of the National Trust, bought Allan Bank in 1915 and left the property to the trust when he died in 1920.
The organisation still owns the building and adjoining land, although it is not open to the public. A spokesperson for the National Trust said: “Allan Bank was given to us by Canon Rawnsley. William Wordsworth lived there between 1808 and 1811, between the ages of 38 and 41.
“The house is not open to the public, it is a tenanted residence. We have over 25 cottages and houses in Grasmere let out to local people.
“There was a fire at the house last night and we are pleased to report none of the tenants were injured.
“We are helping them with regard to temporary rehousing, this may be with relatives or other arrangements.
“We do not yet know the cause of the fire and will await the fire officer’s reports in due course. We are, of course, concerned about any fire in a historic building and will be assessing the damage as soon as we are assured it is safe to do so.”
Romantic bard Wordsworth, famous for his nature poetry, declared Allan Bank an eyesore when it was being built in the early 1800s, but fell in love with the panoramic views of Grasmere Lake while he lived there with wife Mary.
His three children John, Thomas and Dora also shared the home and Wordsworth’s literary contemporaries Thomas de Quincey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge are known to have stayed.
Wordsworth, who was born in Cockermouth, later moved to the Old Rectory opposite St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere. He lived and wrote until he was 80 at various Lake District properties.