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 Cottage and Cafe will be closed on Friday August 16th and Saturday August 17th apologies for any incovenience - normal service will resume on Monday 19th August




Acoustic Cafe

The next Acoustic Cafe will be on Thursday August 22nd this is one week earlier than normal due to school holidays. - 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 of works by local artist Mary Green
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.


From Harp of the Fields Farewell

Hero of the fields farewell a long farewell
Ive been thy boon companion oft and long
& leave thee were I found thee in the dell
For abler hands to wake an abler song
Oft did I fear mine homage did thee wrong
Yet loath to leave thee once I tryd again
& yet once more my willing fancyes cling
A tortured hades song it may be vain
To bid farewell ere fancy drops her wing
& hopeless silence hush thy every string

This extract is from "Childhood's Glory" - the latest chapbook from Roger Rowe. Copies are available in the shop