Retreats & Hideaways - Luxury Self Catering the Lake District

A little history about: Grasmere

Grasmere is a fascinating little town. Steeped in local lore and ancient history. The hills and woodlands have unveiled evidence of human existence dating as far back as the Neolithic period. Grasmere’s early inhabitants consisted of Celtic tribes and later, Roman soldiers who created settlements in the region. 

Grasmere, along with most parts of Northern England, was influenced by the arrival of Norse settlers during the Viking Age. The name ‘Grasmere’ itself is of Norse origin, derived from the Norse meaning ‘grass lake’. It is amazing to think, as you stroll along the waterfront or climb up Helm Cragg and gaze across the majestic vistas, that for hundreds of years – people have been doing the exact same. Our memories are unique, but also shared in the ancient landscape.
During the medieval period, Grasmere was primarily an agricultural community, thriving on sheep farming and creating an economy fuelled by local produce and trading. Many of these early hill farms are still evident today, in the dry-stone walls dividing the fells and the sheep pens that litter the landscape.

With the medieval period came the rise in religious belief in the region. The area became deeply influenced by Christianity. The nearby St. Oswald’s church is believed to date back to the 14th Century, standing as testament to the religious heritage.

Throughout Grasmere’s history, many a famous face has passed through and influenced the culture of the town and its surrounding villages. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Romantic poets helped the town of Grasmere grow in prominence as the peacefulness and pastoral beauty of the countryside attracted those seeking inspiration. William Wordsworth, who lays to rest with his family in St. Oswolds, resided in Dove Cottage in Grasmere with his sister Dorothy from 1799 to 1808. It was here he wrote the iconic poem ‘Daffodils’. His home is now a museum, dedicated to his brilliant contributions to English literature.

Tourism slowly grew from this era on, as people flocked to Grasmere to admire the natural beauty and wilderness of the area. The development of tourism infrastructure become dominant in the town, with eateries and B&Bs become the main source of revenue, though the hill farming (and gingerbread baking) has stayed a local staple. 
In 1951, the Lake District National Park was established as an effort to preserve the unique landscape for future generations and maintain its sense of wild beauty.

If you love Grasmere as much as we do, or would like to explore it yourself, why not stay in one of our stunning holiday properties and add your own experience to the timeline? 

Photo by Jonny Gios @Unsplash


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