Grasmere, Cumbria

St Oswald

This church is well known because of its associations with the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who lived in nearby Dove Cottage and is buried in the churchyard.

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Visiting information

  • Stained glass

  • Monuments

  • Interior features

  • Churchyard

  • Links to national heritage

  • Famous people or stories

Features

  • Accessible by public transport

  • Mostly accessible to all

  • Parking at church or nearby

  • Toilets at church or nearby

  • Refreshments at church or nearby

It is named after St Oswald, a 7th century Christian king of Northumberland, who is said to have preached on this site.

The tower, porch and south wall are all that remain of the 14th century church.

In around 1500, the north wall was punctuated with a striking arcade to create an aisle and enlarge the church. It was not until 1841 that the church floor was flagged, prior to that it was earthen and parishioners were simply buried beneath it. The baptistry window depicts St Oswald, and two of the south windows are by the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday.

Every year, Grasmere celebrates its Rushbearing Festival, a custom dating back to the days when the earthen floor was strewn with rushes, both for warmth and cleanliness.

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