At St. Oswald Church in Grasmere Are The Wordsworth Graves:
Just as Stratford-upon-Avon is Shakespeare country, Grasmere and the Lake District is Wordsworth country. Born in the Lake District in 1770, William Wordsworth described the area as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’. A lover of nature, and inspired by the beauty of the Vale of Grasmere, he spent much of his life in the area walking and writing some of his finest poetry.
On our Grasmere stop, we visited St. Oswald’s Church where Wordsworth is buried in the churchyard. Wordsworth was an avid walker and on a country walk in 1850, he caught a cold and died on 23 April. He was 80 years old then which was a good wicket for people during that time.
Wordsworth and his family were regular worshipers at St. Oswald’s. In the peaceful churchyard his wife Mary, their children Dora, Catherine and Thomas, his sister Dorothy and others close to the family are also buried. They lie in the shade of a yew tree, one of eight planted by Wordsworth himself in this churchyard.
St. Oswald’s Church dates from the 14th century but it stands on land where once stood a church which was built by the then King of Northumbria in 642 AD . In July each year, the people of Grasmere celebrate their Rushbearing Festival. This ancient custom dates back to the times when the church had earthen floor and rushes were strewn to cover the ground. When slate floor and pews were introduced, this festival no longer served any practical purpose, but the village continued with this July tradition.
About 140,000 people visit St. Oswald Church each year, many of whom come to see the resting place of William Wordsworth and his family..