The Old Rectory, Grasmere

The Old Rectory, Grasmere, Cumbria: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessment

Greenlane Archaeology was commissioned to carry out an archaeological desk-based assessment to inform any proposed changes to the Grade II Listed Old Rectory associated with the church of St Oswald’s in Grasmere. The church is first recorded in 1254 and has surviving fabric thought to be of 14th century date. Maps show that the building was substantially remodelled and enlarged at the end of the 19th century. The first definite evidence relating to a rectory at Grasmere is when Henry Fleming took the position of rector and a new rectory was constructed in 1687. There are few details about any alterations to the building in the 18th century, but it was said to be in a poor state of repair before being occupied by William Wordsworth and his family, who moved in in May 1811. Correspondence kept by his sister Dorothy provides useful descriptions of the building and some of the problems they encountered with it, most notably the damp. However, their short time there was filled with tragedy and they left within two years. It was later occupied by members of the Tucker family; the family are celebrated watercolourists and were prominent members of The Lake Artists Society. Alfred Tucker (1849-1914) went on to become the third bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa and bishop of Uganda until 1908.

The full report will be made available on the Archaeology Data Service website.