Location : Bassenthwaite / Keswick  –  Grid Ref: NY 232282

Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4QE. Tel: 017687 72287
Email : [email protected]

A remarkable historic house and gardens facing Bassenthwaite Lake, with Dodd Wood and Skiddaw at the rear. The gardens contain four wooded adventure playgrounds, varied sheltered gardens to amble around, and lakeside walks through woods and parks.
Being a private house, opening times to the House are restricted (see below), the grounds and tea-room being open daily. The House has been in the Spedding family for over 300 years, and contains a wide range of literary and artistic connections, including portraits, James Speddings collection of Francis Bacon’s works, as well as manuscripts of  Southey, Wordsworth , Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle and John Constable – all friends of the Speddings in the last century. Relax and enjoy live classical music in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
In the grounds are 4 adventure playgrounds, collections of Rhododendrons and Hydrangeas, a sheltered Bee Garden, traditional orchard, a heather path maze, the Canada garden, terraced lawns, and a rare wildflower meadow.  A circular walk of around a mile leads from the house, through the woods, along the lake shore and back to the entrance.
The poetry walk, housing a rose garden at the centre,  has recently been extended and shows poems associated with Mirehouse, including works by Tennyson, Wordsworth and Hartley Coleridge.
The Old Sawmill Tea Room is located beside the car park opposite the entrance to Mirehouse and specialises in traditional Cumbrian home cooking.  Open daily 10am to 5pm.

Photo by Simon Ledingham.

The beautiful little church of St. Bega, is in the Mirehouse grounds.
Lord Alfred Tennyson stayed at Mirehouse in 1835 while he was writing his poem ‘Morte D’Arthur’ and St Bega’s Church inspired the opening lines:

‘..to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark straight of barren land,’

A small distance along the shore from the church you will find a simple open-air theatre erected by the Tennyson Society at the place where it is thought he composed much of the poem.

The open-air theatre by the lake.

2020 opening times

  • The gardens, playgrounds, tearoom and lakeside walks are open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The house is open to visitors from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm (last entries 4:00 pm) on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday afternonns.
    We are now closed for winter. We look forward to welcoming our visitors when we re-oepn for our 2020 season on 1st of April.
    2020 admission fees
    Payable at The Old Sawmill Tearoom beside the car-park.

  • Grounds only: Adult £4.00; child £2.00
  • House and Grounds: Adult £8.50; Child £4.00; Family (2 adults and up to 4 children) £23.
  • Under 4s FREE
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