Remains of the 1711 All Saints Church after the fire of 1850. The present church was consecrated in June 1854.
In 1778 tragedy struck the Wordsworth family when the children’s mother, Anne, died. William recalls that his father never really recovered from her death, and William regrets having so few memories of her. One memory was of her pinning a nosegay to his chest when he was going to All Saints’ Church just before Easter as a young boy.
The Old Grammar School was built in 1676 and was attended by William Wordsworth and also Fletcher Christian.
The building was demolished and replaced in 1896/7 by the present All Saints church rooms.
Another memory was when he told her about an incident he had witnessed one day whilst attending the school next to the church: he had seen a woman with a white sheet on her, going to do penance in the church. His mother had hoped that he would remember this as a lesson, but William simply regretted the fact that he had not been given the penny that he had been promised on this occasion. He recalls that his mother was unimpressed with his response.
Sadly, more tragedy was to follow with the death of the children’s father, John, in 1778. This meant a permanent move away from Cockermouth, and William moved on to Hawkshead Grammar School with his brother Richard in the spring of 1779. William later noted that he had learned more Latin at Hawkshead in two weeks than he had in two years at the Free Grammar School in Cockermouth.