We do not know when Loughrigg Cottage was originally built. The old walls and roof timbers in the loft suggest it probably dates back to the 18th Century. When it was built it is likely to have been a typical Lakeland cottage, with 2 rooms on the ground floor and 2 on the first, with the entrance where the sash window now is in the main living room. It probably included the cellar and stairs rising from a single storey on the back.

The first written record we have dates from 1870, when the then owner, Lancelot Fleming, died and left it to his wife for the remainder of her life. Following her death it passed in 1893 to their son, also Lancelot Fleming. He immediately took out a mortgage on the property for £400, and a few years later in 1903 a further mortgage for £100. It seems very likely that this money was used to turn Loughrigg Cottage into what you see today, with the addition of the bay windows on the front, the dining room and kitchen areas, the rear bedrooms and the attic area.

At this time the Arts & Crafts movement was very popular in the Lakes, and a number of typical Arts & Crafts features were added: the front bay windows with leaded lights to bring in the light and provide views, the leaded lights and panelling in the dining room, the inglenook fireplace, copper decorations and green fireplace tiles. These features are typical of houses of that period. If you are interested in the movement we recommend "Arts & Crafts Houses in the Lake District" which is among the many Lake District books in the house.

We do know - because we have the conveyance which is framed on the half-landing - that the house was, by 1904, in the shape it is today. On 13 June 1904 Lancelot Fleming sold the house to John Tolson, a draper from Ambleside, for £750.

John Tolson did not occupy it immediately, but let it to Adelaide Troutbeck Wordsworth, by then the widow of Henry Curwen Wordsworth, one of the poet's grandsons.

In the summer of 1906 Adelaide Wordsworth sublet it - its first ever holiday letting - to Woodrow Wilson. At the time he was President of Princeton, but 6 years later was to become one of the USA's most famous Presidents.

Woodrow Wilson stayed at Loughrigg Cottage for 4 months with his wife and two daughters, and it is clear that he fell in love with it. We have a volume of the letters he wrote while staying here among the books in the house, and his words still describe it perfectly today:

"It is the most picturesque and delightfully situated, close by the Rothay Stream, and under the shadow of Loughrigg." Wilson speaks of "exploring the lovely valleys and mountains and coming back for tea by the fire." At the end of his time here - he returned to the USA in October 1906 - he said "we have had a little cottage all to ourselves in perhaps the most beautiful spot of all".

If you are interested in learning more about Woodrow Wilson's stay at Loughrigg Cottage (and his love of the Lakes more generally) we recommend "A President's Love Affair with the Lake District" by Andrew Wilson, which we also have in the house along with other books about him.

John Tolson owned Loughrigg Cottage until he died in 1935. After 2 further owners it came into the Hobson family in 1961, and remained in that family and much loved by them until late 2013, when we purchased it. It had been listed Grade 2 in 1974.

In early 2014 we commenced an extensive process of renovation which was (eventually) completed in the summer of 2015 to enable us to make it available for holiday letting.

Loughrigg Cottage is not the only property with links to well known figures on Under Loughrigg. William Wordsworth's son, also William, bought Stepping Stones next door in 1881, and it remained in the Wordsworth family until 1935. The poet's daughter, Dora, lived a little further up the road at Loughrigg Holme, with her husband, the poet Edward Quillinan. Next door to that is Fox Ghyll, which was for a time home to the poet Thomas de Quincey. As the road rises slightly after Fox Ghyll, you will pass the closed main gates to the sombre-looking Fox Howe, once the summer home to Dr Thomas Arnold, the famous headmaster of Rugby School, and his son, the poet Matthew Arnold.

Loughrigg Cottage Gate
Sitting Room
Dining Room
Loughrigg Cottage and Garden
TV Room View

For prices, availability and online booking please either call Lakelovers on 015394 88855 or book online