Alfoxton, Wordsworth’s house at Holford saved by a Buddhist community


I am delighted to report that Alfoxton, the house at Holford lived in by William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, would seem to have been saved. It has been bought by a Buddhist community (they are members of the Triratna Buddhist Order). As you will know, the building has been allowed to deteriorate down the years, and is in a very poor state.

We were invited to visit the house a few days ago. We were met by Jayaraja, a highly experienced Buddhist teacher and leader. He is in charge of the project and gave us a full tour of the building, inside and out. They were gifted the purchase money by a supporter who has close childhood connections with the area. He has also promised a considerable sum of money towards the continued restoration, to be available in increments as the work progresses.

They are approaching the restoration very much as a long-term project, and starting slowly, restoring the house room by room. They have a major job on their hands! There are holes in the roof causing water influx, rotting timbers everywhere, general building chaos, and a roof to repair and restructure. They are aiming at having a number of guest rooms ready by next spring for retreats and other arts events. As much of the work as possible will be carried out by volunteers from the Order to help save money.

We were introduced to other of his colleagues, all of whom came over as pleasant, committed people, determined to make the Alfoxton project work.

At a recent open day they apparently received considerable support from local people, who are pleased that Alfoxton is now in new hands.

I have agreed to give a short talk on the two poets at a September meeting day. The community are intensely conscious of the importance of the house to the two poets, and to the creation of ‘Lyrical Ballads’ and the birth of Romanticism. The Order is particularly keen on promoting the arts, especially poetry.

Below is a link to the Community’s website.

Terence Sackett

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