Welcome to John Clare Cottage

Tucked away between Stamford and Peterborough lies the village of Helpston, the home of John Clare (1793-1864). Widely regarded as one of the greatest of the English poets, John Clare lived in the village for his first forty years from 1793 until 1832.

The John Clare Trust purchased John Clare Cottage in 2005, preserving it for future generations. The Cottage has been restored, using traditional building methods, to create a centre where people can learn about John Clare, his works, how rural people lived in the early 19th century and also gain an understanding of the environment.

The Cottage contains examples of his work together with information about his life. Some of the rooms have been returned to the style that would have been found in cottages in the early 19th century in rural England. The gardens have been redesigned and planted with varieties which would have been seen in Clare’s time.

The Cottage shop is the perfect place to buy a memento of your visit - we specialise in John Clare books and local art and craft items. Why not relax in our lovely cafe and try one of our homemade soups, daily specials, or one of our selection of Clare's cakes. 

All cakes and light bites on our menu are made on the premises.

Variations in Visiting Arrangements

John Clare Cottage is used for many events and educational visits, you are advised to check when planning your visit to the Cottage to ensure that it is open to the public and there are no large groups which would detract from your visit. Details of advanced bookings can be found here >>>> 

Special Notice for Visitors . 





Acoustic Cafe

The next Acoustic Cafe will be on Thursday November 28th   . - full details


Art in the Cottage

The art exhibition is of works by local artist Jean Edwards
Further details



Art in the Dovecote

The current exhibition in the Dovecote is a selection of works by local artist Heather Mizen  
Further details

Please Support the Trust

The John Clare Trust is an independent charity . Please support us to help maintain the facilities and develop educational programs.


All Nature Has a Feeling

All nature has a feeling; woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books,
Theres nothing mortal in them, their decay
Is green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide