The Claife Crier: Windermere’s famous spook

The Claife Crier has to be the best-known spook in the Lake District, and, as is commonly pointed out, the only ghost named on an OS map. Sadly, neither he nor his residence are listed on my modern road map but still… here’s the story.

Claife Heights copyright Stephen Dawson

Claife Heights copyright Stephen Dawson

A long time ago, a monk from Furness Abbey, whose job was to save the souls of immoral women, fell for one of his clients. He followed her back to Claife Heights on the western shores of Windermere, but she rejected him. He took this badly, spent a lot of time wailing, and finally dropped dead. But didn’t stop wailing. Continue reading

Famous Cumbrians: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

A leading figure in the Romantic movement, Wordsworth wrote poetry inspired by strong emotion, but ‘remembered in tranquillity’. Born in Cockermouth and educatedWilliam Wordsworth at 28 by William Shuter 1798 Copyright expired in Penrith and Hawkshead, Wordsworth lived in France as a young man immediately before the French Revolution, developing radical ideas and a mistress and child. Wordsworth returned to the Lake District in 1799 to live in Dove Cottage (open to the public) in Grasmere, and I believe received wisdom amongst poetry-philes is that he became increasingly conservative, which probably explains how this one-time radical could become Poet Laureate. Continue reading