Drawing 142: The Old Grammar School, Hawkshead

Direction of view: WNW

Notes: Sun is on both sides of the building in the morning.  It is necessary to crouch down low to avoid seeing the top of the church over the roof of the Grammar School. As Wainwright notes, Wordsworth was educated here from 1778 – 83, and it features in “The Prelude”.  This scene appears in only one of Wainwright’s other works: sketch 10 in A Second Furness Sketchbook, where the church can be seen in the background.

Comments: Image 1 was taken on slide film some time in late August or early September 1978.  This was an outing with Peter Messenger, when we also took Wray Castle (400) and Hawkshead Church (176).

I visited this sketch for the digital project on 14 April 2012.  With a bit of patience, the sun came out, and conditions were ideal (image 2). There was an A board outside the door, advertising the fact that the building is open to the public, but otherwise the scene was still as drawn by AW, though some contortions were necessary to avoid getting part of the church in the background (which AW doesn’t do for this Drawing – see above).  See also 176.

The Old Grammar School was founded in 1585 by the Archbishop of York, Edwin Sandys, who was born in 1519 at Esthwaite Hall.  In 1675 the School was rebuilt by Daniel Rawlinson of London (where he was a vintner) and of Grizedale Hall.  The entrance to the grammar school was rebuilt in 1888 and the windows in 1891.  It is now a listed building (Grade II*), and houses a museum with a unique collection of historic items relating to the school and Edwin Sandys.