Poking around the office I came across a photocopy of an extract about Dorothy Wordsworth written by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton and thought I would type up some of it to share with you dear readers.
“On 10 February 1826 at a quarter to eight she left at last for her postponed holiday, ‘always ready’, as Sara said, ‘to enjoy whatever was proposed - never making any difficulties. The proposal was a three months’ visit, accompanied by Joanna, to Thomas and Mary Hutchinson on their new farm. They had moved a year earlier into the calm, dreamlike country between Hereford and Hay-on-Wye. At their rambling, moated, many chimneyed farmhouse, Brinsop Court, which could comfortably shelter fourteen ‘Cumberland and Westmorland souls’, Dorothy passed months of the most unclouded happiness in her life."
Isn’t that just such a fabulous recommendation for the place that it is calm and dreamlike! Of course it was extended since her time, which is why we can now shelter more than fourteen souls!
“Brinsop offered fresh delights, with leisure to write of them. She arrived on 17 February to find flowers already out in the hedges and Tom’s orchards in bud, although on the Black Mountains snow still lay: ‘arrived about five - tea upstairs all happy and comfortable’.”
Of course with climate change, we can’t ensure there are always flowers outside in February, but Pat puts fresh flowers into the house for all guests regardless of the time of year.
“The evening of 8 September, Dorothy’s last at Brinsop, was beautiful. ‘Lovely right moonshine – walked in garden – moon reflected in pool – the one white swan.’ Next day she left after seven months. She rose at six and climbed into the cart for Hereford, very nervous of the frisky horse and unable to speak for the pain of parting. ‘I neither looked nor spoke.... from top of hill looked back on old friends for last time'."
It is amazing really that Brinsop still has the same effect it had on Dorothy on our guests and visitors today. We call it the magic of Brinsop, and it explains why so many people return to stay with us.