Coleridge’s Cottage, Nether Stowey, Somerset

 

Coleridge’s Cottage is nestled in the Somerset countryside and is as beautiful as it is haunting. The home of the Coleridge family between 1697 – 1699 it was where Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote some of his most celebrated poems including ‘Kubla Khan’, ‘Frost at Midnight’ and ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and a great visit for a day out.

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This cottage has so much history in it and you can imagine it as the tiny dwelling it was during Coleridge’s time – full of dust, mice and darkness. Derelict by today’s standards this would be the family’s home during some terrible times including the death of their 8 month son Berkeley from a reaction to the smallpox vaccination.

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Despite this sadness, which you can feel pounding through the walls of this cottage, the downstairs is more welcoming and you can imagine the front room ringing out with banter and debate between Coleridge and his many friends who would often visit including William Wordsworth.

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This is a wonderful place to bring children, unlike many National Trust properties this is very much a ‘please touch’ house. They tell you to rummage through the drawers and pick up his (recreated) letters and even have a go at using a flint to start a fire. Ours loved having a go at writing with a quill!

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There are also trails specifically designed for children, or they can spend their time spotting the many mice (don’t panic, not real ones!) that live in the house.

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For me, one of my favourite parts was the garden. You could imagine picnics from hundreds of years ago amongst the wild flowers and long grass. The National Trust have set up some lovely benches where you can sit and spend a while, and if you choose they have little audio stories around, such as a letter from a Bristol printer telling a friend about his time visiting the Coleridges in that garden which bring the past alive even more.

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We loved it here, despite its melancholy you can feel a sense of history and it was wonderful imagining the poems that were written in this very spot. One thing though…as we walked up the creaking staircase to the original 2 bedrooms we could hear a recording of a baby crying. But when we were upstairs we didn’t hear the recording again or see where it was coming from. I’m hoping there was actually a recording of a baby crying….

There is a small shop and lovely little cafe here. Find out more – http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coleridge-cottage/

25 Responses to "Coleridge’s Cottage, Nether Stowey, Somerset"

  1. Lou  August 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This looks such a cool day out! Love the photo with the quills.

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Thank you!! It was really good and they loved the quills!

      Reply
  2. Jess Howliston  August 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    This looks like a beautiful place and how lovely for the children to be able to enjoy the place without worrying about them touching things lol! xx

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:08 am

      I know, I wish more places were this hands on!

      Reply
  3. Nick  August 15, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    Great article, looks like a really interesting place to visit. How’d the fire starting go with the flint?

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Hmm…it took a while before we saw the tiniest of sparks!! But we got something!

      Reply
  4. You Baby Me Mummy  August 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    It is great that the kids can get stuck in. Looks lovely x

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:09 am

      It really was a great place for them to enjoy too.

      Reply
  5. Jen aka The Mad House  August 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    This looks like amazing fun. My boys would love writing with the ink

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:10 am

      Yes, my 5 year old didn’t want to stop doing that, she loved it!

      Reply
  6. Pinkoddy  August 15, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Being able to touch would be right down my kids’ street = and we need to look at another National Trust property. Great review.

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Thank you…if you are near this one then I would recommend it. It’s certainly not as grand as many but it’s a great way to introduce them to Coleridge’s poetry and we loved the simplicity of it.

      Reply
  7. Louise  August 15, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    We love the national trust and this sounds brilliant. I have a thing about quills love it! X

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:11 am

      We are big National Trust fans too…and the quills are great aren’t they?

      Reply
  8. Boo Roo and Tigger Too  August 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Great to see the children’s trails to get them involved with the visit

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I love that they put so much thought into what the children could do there too.

      Reply
  9. Julie  August 15, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    This looks like such an amazing place! Sad about the 8 month baby dying though šŸ™

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

      I know…a sad reality for many families of the time. Really tragic.

      Reply
  10. Shell Louise  August 17, 2014 at 1:49 am

    The part about the crying baby gave me a bit of a chill….I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to things like that!

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:13 am

      Ha ha, I know it was a bit weird…I want to know if there was a recording or not!!

      Reply
  11. fritha  August 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I love the Kubla Khan connection! As a child I used to be able to recite that poem! The cottage is so cute, exactly the sort of place I love to visit on holiday šŸ™‚ x

    Reply
    • globalmouse  August 19, 2014 at 8:17 am

      That’s so cool you used to be able to do that!! I love Coleridge and his poetry…it makes me want to read them all again! x

      Reply
  12. Lori  August 20, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I love National Trust properties especially where you can interact and use your hands to get stuck in. F would love it here x

    Reply
  13. agatapokutycka  August 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm

    Love the flooring in this place. Both the wooden one and the old tiles. Stunning.

    Reply
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