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

Open Mic Night at John Clare

Come along to the Cottage with your instruments on Thursday February 26th  - full details


New for 2015 one of the regular performers at the Open Mic Nights - Michael Keithson has released a CD of his music, - details.



New Books 

The Writer's Garden by Jackie Bennett - Details.

The Majical World of John Clare by Marianna Kneller - 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 "The River Gwash"
Where winding Gwash whirls round its wildest scene,
On this romantic bend I sit me down;
On that side view the meadow's smoothing green,
Edg'd with the peeping hamlet's checquering brown;
Here the steep bank, as dropping headlong down;
While glides the stream a silver streak between,
As glide the shaded clouds along the sky,
Bright'ning and deep'ning, losing as they're seen,
In light and shade; to where old willows lean,
Thus their broad shadow runs the river by,
With tree and bush replete, a wilder'd scene,
And moss and ivy speckling on my eye.
Oh, thus while musing wild, I'm doubly blest,
My woes unheeding, and my heart at rest.