All text and images © Friends of the Ullswater Way 2017
The Dorothy Gate, standing on the grassy area in front of Aira Force Cafe, celebrates the writing of Dorothy Wordsworth and her influence on the poetry of her brother, William Wordsworth. The ash poles are carved with words from Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal, describing the beautiful daffodils she saw as she walked along the shores of Ullswater not far from this spot
Dorothy Wordsworth (1771 -
The journals vividly record their daily life at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and their travels further afield, including tours through Europe. They are rich in detailed observation: of family life, of times spent with friends, of walking near and far, and of her living with one of England’s greatest poets.
In her Grasmere journal written in April 1802, Dorothy describes walking with William by the side of Ullswater as they travelled home to Grasmere from a visit to the Clarksons of Eusemere (in Pooley Bridge). On this walk she wrote what has become her most famous journal entry: " I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about and about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness and the rest tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake...'.
The place she wrote about is just after Gowbarrow -
Two years later William wrote one of his best known short poems, often referred to as ‘The Daffodils’. It has the lines '….. I saw a crowd a host of golden daffodils, beside the lake, beneath the trees fluttering and dancing in the breeze....Ten thousand saw I at a glance tossing their heads in sprightly dance'.
By Judith Cooke of Patterdale, with help from the Wordsworth Trust staff and trustees
For more information visit The Wordsworth Trust website.
Creating the Dorothy Gate
Colin Bell and Stephen Gorton of Hartsop gave invaluable advice about how gates would have looked in the Wordsworths’ day. The old gate posts were generously donated by the Lightburn family. The ash poles were carved by James Mitchell, a traditional wood worker from South Lakes.
Thanks to our funders and supporters
The Lightburn Family
The National Trust
The Wordsworth Trust
DOROTHY GATE -
Dorothy Wordsworth silhouette © The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Cumbria
Extract from Dorothy Wordsworth's Diary © The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Cumbria
|Cockpit Stone Circle|
|Wainwright Sitting Stone|
|Sharrow Bay Hotel|
|Wainwright Plaque at Patterdale Post Office|
|St Patrick's Church Patterdale|
|Patterdale Parish War Memorial|
|Somnambulist at Aira Force|
|Pooley Bridge Fish Monument|