AskDefine | Define grasmere

Extensive Definition

Grasmere is a village in central Cumbria, England. It is also the name of the adjacent lake. Grasmere's position in the centre of the English Lake District, as well as its connections with the Lake Poets, has made it popular as a tourist destination. The poet William Wordsworth, who lived in Grasmere for fourteen years, described it as "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found"


The village is overlooked by the small rocky hill of Helm Crag, popularly known as The Lion and the Lamb or the Old Lady at the Piano, depending from which side you view it from. These names are derived from the shape of rock formations on its summit.
The A591 connects Grasmere northwards over Dunmail Raise to the Vale of Keswick and southwards to Ambleside.

Communal events


Grasmere's famous Rushbearing Ceremony has ancient origins. The present day ceremony is an annual event which features a procession through the village with bearings made from rushes and flowers. In this procession there are also six Maids of Honour, a brass band, the church choir, and everyone who wishes to join in by carrying their own decorated rushbearing.

Grasmere Sports

In August, Grasmere holds Grasmere Sports which have been running since 1852. This is the main event in Grasmere's calendar and one of the most popular traditional events in the Lake District. Events at Grasmere Sports include Cumberland Wrestling, fell running and hound trails (also known as drag hunting.


The former civil parish was for a time governed by an urban district council before becoming part of the Lakes UDC in 1934. The village is now part of Lakes parish. Grasmere has experienced population decline since the 1960s.

Famous (former) inhabitants

  • William Wordsworth lived in Dove Cottage, in the hamlet of Townend, on the outskirts of Grasmere, from 1799. He occasionally used to breakfast with Sir Walter Scott at The Swan, a seventeenth century coaching inn that is still in use in the village. In his poem "The Waggoner", Wordsworth asks "who does not know the famous Swan" a line which is quoted on the Swan's pub sign to this day. In 1808 he sold Dove Cottage to his friend Thomas de Quincey and moved to a larger house in the village, Allan Bank, where he lived until he moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside in 1813. He is buried in the graveyard of St. Oswald's Church, Grasmere, alongside his wife, Mary and their family. His sister, Dorothy, is also buried alongside him.
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge also spent time at Dove Cottage and is said to have muttered stanzas from his poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" whilst walking across the fells to Grasmere.
  • Sarah Nelson was the original shop owner and maker of the famous Grasmere Gingerbread, which is a secret recipe. The shop is near the village centre in a tiny house, which was the village school, next to the church.


External links

grasmere in German: Grasmere
grasmere in Dutch: Grasmere
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