Friday 21 June 2013

Coleridge and Nether Stowey

Note:  Header photo is a view across the Towy Valley from Dryslwyn Castle.

From the grey rocks of Kilve beach, we made our way to Nether Stowey nearby, as we wanted to visit the cottage where poet Coleridge lived.  Last time we were there it was closed.  This day I made sure we visited when it was open.

Coleridge is someone I know a very little about, although the last time we were in Hay-on-Wye I bought a couple of biographies of him, which I will eventually read.  The cottage is under the control of the National Trust now, and they have done a wonderful job of making it feel very homely, and I just loved the extracts painted across the walls.  I think this was the front parlour - the first room you entered anyway.

My husband has a passion for old Windsor chairs and he fell in love with this one.

This looks so down to earth.

I took a photo of the baby's crib because of the beautiful paisley quilt, which had been embroidered around the paisley pattern - a lovely idea which I may copy.  This looks SUCH early paisley too.  Note the little mouse - I think they had a problem with the mice in the cottage - they appear all round the house!

Their bedroom, with a bonnet and gown you could put on.

T trying her hand with a quill.  I was useless . . .

Me in the kitchen (where you were encouraged to dress up).  I call it my Mrs Tiggywinkle look . . .  You have to say, I am the right SHAPE for a cook . . .

Sorry about the flash, but this was S T Coleridge in his heyday.  I think he was probably a pain in the backside to live with, well, I KNOW he was from the little I have read about him.  My friend Ann has loaned me a book about him, "Bondage of Opium" which just about summed him up.  He was a lousy husband too . . .  HERE is the Wikipedia item about him.  My poor brain had less than 4 hours' sleep again last night (yet another course of Steroids because Asthma badly affected by very high pollen count - it's like pea soup in our garden!) so this is far more erudite than I can manage.  HERE is a more personal account from Margaret Keeping's wonderful Edward Thomas blog, detailing how Coleridge treated his wife (e.g. NOT well!)  He made ET look a positive saint in that department . . .


  1. it all looks fascinating, thankyou for sharing your photos. I am another huge paisley fan, so I was particularly charmed by that little quilt.

  2. Really enjoyed reading about your Day Out in Somerset and the lovely photos - a really interesting post :)

  3. Nevertheless, he wrote wonderful poetry for posterity BB.
    I like the look of that house. I would love to come down there again but the farmer just does not fancy the long journey.

  4. Just beautiful header photo and the rock on the beach are wonderful. Must look it up and try to find out where it is.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. parsnip - if you look at the Somerset coast of the West Country, find Minehead, then look right to Watchet, it's just beyond that . You might find East Quantoxhead, and then a tiny bit inland of that is Kilve.

    Weaver - indeed, and one wonders what train of thought might have produced had not the Person from Porlock interrupted his . . . inspiration! A shame your husband doesn't fancy travelling so far south.

    Ragged Robin - glad you enjoyed the post.

    Kath - isn't it sweet? I saw two lovely and very colourful Paisley quilts in town this week, but of the sort slung together in an afternoon on a sewing machine. Prices £75 (single) and £125 (double). I struggled to keep a straight face. . . I love the different colourways in the Paisley designs (these had bright yellow in one and purple in the other).

  6. Love the photo of you in the kitchen. I'm a bit of a fan of the Windsor Chair too so I understand your husband's delight. I had one which is with my mum now as there was no room for it here. I was constantly gluing it back together as one piece went back in another would pop out. Much as I love it, I'm quite glad to have absolved responsibility for it! Lovely post - thank you.

  7. Ah - you DO need us nearby as my OH is brilliant at restoring Windsor chairs (or anything wooden, come to that). I have to say, that is not the most flattering picture of me, but after 3 years glued to the sofa and all those steroids giving me the munchies, it's no surprise I've put on a stone . . .

  8. Hello, I've just discovered your lovely blog. Your header photo shows a beautiful view and I love to read/remember the words of Edward Thomas, too - especially each spring.
    I enjoyed the look around Coleridge's Cottage. I know I would pay special attention to the old Windsor Chair, too.

  9. Hello Wendy and welcome. I am glad you like what you see. I witter on about all sorts of stuff and occasionally my camera takes a better photo than I give myself credit for!

  10. I love you in costume and yes, the shape of a cook is likely indicative of the skill. You look like a great cook and that's a Very Very wonderful thing. Thanks for the Windsor chair pic, it's gorgeous and hubby looks so excited and animated !~!