News from Roland Wicksteed for January 2012

  • Allan Bank opens its doors March 2012

    11:52 14 January 2012
    By Roland Wicksteed, Dave Jackson, Dave Almond, James Archer, Neil Winder

    For the first time in its 206-year history Allan Bank will be opened to the public in March 2012 to allow you to help us decide the property’s future. 
    Allan Bank is a large house that William Wordsworth had condemned as an eyesore when it was being built. However, in 1808 after he had married, he and Mary moved here with their three children John, Thomas and Dora. Also living with them were Mary's sister Sara Hutchinson, and their literary friends Thomas de Quincey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They stayed here for two years during which time they had two more children, Catherine and William, but they moved from the house because the chimneys smoked too much, and they fell out with the landlord.
    After 34 years at Crosthwaite Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, one of the founders of the National Trust, retired in 1917 to Grasmere, where he had bought Allan Bank in 1915. He died in 1920, leaving the house to the Trust.
    The house will be unfurnished and undecorated so that we are free to implement suggestions that come forward - we’ll even get people to think about the best colours to paint the different rooms!
    Allan Bank sits proudly above the head of Grasmere with luscious grounds and a breathtaking outlook. In need of more than a little tlc to return it to it’s former glory, Allan Bank is to be the subject of an exciting and unique National Trust project that will invite you to be a part of determining the future of this once great early 19th century building.

News from Roland Wicksteed

Photo of Roland Wicksteed

Ranger. It is a privilege to live and work in this beautiful area; it is unique. I am based at Windermere and Troutbeck. My favourite work is drystone walling and hedgelaying. I enjoy instructing Working Holiday Groups in both of these traditional crafts. Part of my work involves keeping the numbers of "invasive non native species" down as much as possible. I also continue to work on a project, the aim of which is to increase the numbers of the scarce touch me not balsam plants,(yellow flowering plants in the image's background!) which the rare netted carpet moth depends upon for its survival. The numbers of moths and plants are mainly restricted to a few small sites in The Lake District.