St Oswald

This church is well known because of its associations with the great Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who lived in nearby Dove Cottage and is buried in the churchyard.

About this church

It is named after St Oswald, a 7th century Christian king of Northumberland, who is said to have preached on this site.

The tower, porch and south wall are all that remain of the 14th century church.

In around 1500, the north wall was punctuated with a striking arcade to create an aisle and enlarge the church. It was not until 1841 that the church floor was flagged, prior to that it was earthen and parishioners were simply buried beneath it. The baptistry window depicts St Oswald, and two of the south windows are by the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist Henry Holiday.

Every year, Grasmere celebrates its Rushbearing Festival, a custom dating back to the days when the earthen floor was strewn with rushes, both for warmth and cleanliness.

Key Features

  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


Holy Trinity

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Holy Trinity

Unusual Romanesque style church in scenery of which Wordsworth said 'There is not a more beautiful situation outside of the Alps or among them than this'.


St Mary

Visible from miles around that spire of St Mary’s nestles into the beautiful landscape of the Heart of the English Lake District.

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