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

The John Clare Trust now owns the Exeter Arms public house in Church Lane, behind the Church. You are advised to park here rather than in Woodgate. This is a five minute walk away from the Cottage.

 

 

 

Latest news
 

John Clare Society Festival Special
 
John Clare Calendar for 2014 reduced to £10 for the final few copies. Click here for details >>>

 

Clare UnEarthed
An exhibition created by a group od local artists wiill be on display in the Cottage from 16th May. Phase 2 installed on July 4th and has increased the number of exhibits. Details>>

 

The Lovers Meeting
Copies of the newly published work of John Clare can be obtained from the John Clare Cottage, more details.

 

Dream Not of Love
A CD of folk music collected by John Clare is now available on a CD in stock at the Cottage, more details

 

The Shepherds Calendar
 
The OUP are reprintimg John Clare's Shepherds Calendar in commeration of the 150 years since Clare dies. Now in stock. - see details.

 

Open Mic Night at John Clare
Come along to the Cottage with your instruments on July 24th  - full 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.

 

Summer Evening

The frog half fearful jumps across the path,
And little mouse that leaves its hole at eve
Nimbles with timid dread beneath the swath;
My rustling steps awhile their joys deceive,
Till past, and then the cricket sings more strong,
And grasshoppers in merry moods still wear
The short night weary with their fretting song.
Up from behind the molehill jumps the hare,
Cheat of his chosen bed, and from the bank
The yellowhammer flutters in short fears
From off its nest hid in the grasses rank,
And drops again when no more noise it hears.
Thus nature's human link and endless thrall,
Proud man, still seems the enemy of all.