Architects: Benson + Forsyth with Napper Architects
Opened in June 2005
The Jerwood Foundation made a grant of £500,000 towards The Wordsworth Trust's new centre, close to the poet's former home, Dove Cottage in Grasmere. The grant was critical in providing the partnership funding to unlock the Heritage Lottery grant. The Jerwood Centre at the Wordsworth Trust was designed by Benson + Forsyth and Napper Architects to make use of traditional Lakeland materials and blend with the existing buildings. The Centre was opened on 2 June 2005 by poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.
The three-storey Jerwood Centre provides climate-controlled conditions to house the Trust's collection of some 50,000 manuscripts, paintings, books and memorabilia relating to the great British Romantic poets. The top floor Reading Room holds an extensive collection which includes Wordsworth's own library and many rare first editions. The middle floor provides a work space where art and documents can be cared for and restored. The adjoining rotunda includes an introduction to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth and the Romantic poets.
The Wordsworth Trust is now the UK's leading resource for Romanticism in scholarship and has made the entire archive accessible online. The Trust exists to celebrate the contemporary as much as remember the past, and offers artist residencies and exhibitions at its contemporary 3 Degree West gallery, as well as contemporary poetry readings.
Jerwood Centre at the Wordsworth Trust © Architects: Benson + Forsyth with Napper Architects