Situated in the pretty Lake District village of Hawkshead, the Grammar School Museum tells the story of school life since its founding in 1585. Our most famous pupil was William Wordsworth and in its heyday this was considered one of the best schools in the north of England.
Wordsworth attended the school from age 9 to age 17. His love of the landscape was heavily influenced by his time in Hawkshead and his introduction to poetry started at the Grammar School with his inspirational Headmaster, William Taylor.
The school building dates from 1675 and the downstairs schoolroom has not changed much since Wordsworth’s day - you can sit at the desk where he carved his name and imagine how it would feel to spend your days learning Latin, Greek and Mathematics - by rote! Upstairs there are a number of permanent and rotating exhibitions highlighting aspects of the school story including the unique school library - and you may be lucky enough to visit when the library is open. Unfortunately, disabled access is only to the ground floor.
We have a fact-finder quiz for children and you can try your hand at quill-writing.
There’s also a Wordsworth Walking Trails map which comes free with admission.
-- NEW for 2023 --
This year we have a new and exciting range of exhibitions to share with visitors. It’s the year of 3 Williams!
Most of you are aware that William Wordsworth attended the school, and our permanent exhibition on his Hawkshead schooldays continues. You can also take a copy of our Wordsworth Walking Trails map highlighting the poet’s points of interest around Esthwaite Vale (provided free with entry).
However, have you heard of William Pearson, a Cumbrian farm boy who founded the Royal Astronomical Society and invented his own scientific instruments? He developed his passion for maths and geometry at HGS and worked here as an assistant master before embarking on his ‘stellar’ career.
Our third William is a local boy, William Carter Preston, who was one of the last to attend the school before it closed in 1909. He trained as an architect in Windermere before joining up in WW1. He quickly became commissioned as an officer and appeared to have a brilliant future ahead of him, but tragically he was killed in action in 1918.
The historic library will also be open on select days, and you may be lucky enough to meet volunteers working on our library cataloguing and repair project.
Group tours can be arranged by contacting email@example.com or 015394 36674. Group rates are £4 per person, £1 under-16, teachers and guides enter for free.
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|Season (1 Apr 2023 - 31 Oct 2023)|
|Tuesday - Wednesday||Closed|
|Thursday - Sunday||11:00||- 16:00|
* Open Thursday-Sunday during term time.
Open Every Day on school holidays.
Regular admission fee: £4.00 per adult, £1.00 per under-16
This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.
Approaching Hawkshead from the north on the B5285, follow the road around the edge of the village to the main carpark.
The Museum is 50 metres from the carpark, with the entrance to the grounds across from the main bus-stop. The nearest railway station is Windermere, which is 9 miles away.
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