Meditation Retreats

UK Charity to Turn Former Home of Poet Wordsworth into a Buddhist Retreat Center

According to media reports in Great Britain, a former home of the English romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770–1850) was bought by a Buddhist charity that is planning to renovate the listed Alfoxton Park and the 18th century grounds and convert them into a meditation center.

After the renovation in keeping with the history and heritage of the site, the proposed retreat center will focus on hosting extended meditation retreats and land-based retreats, as well as arts and creativity events. The main house is reported to be open for retreats from August next year.

“We are very pleased to have been entrusted with the guardianship of this beautiful and historic building,” Dharmachari Lokabandhu, trustee of the Alfoxton Park Trust charity, was quoted as saying. “We are well aware of its importance and place in Britain’s literary heritage and we intend to continue to recognize it.” (BBC News)

Listed * Alfoxton Park, a country house in the middle of the picturesque Quantock Hills in Somerset, west England, includes outbuildings, a courtyard, a walled garden, and 20 acres of gardens and a deer park. The property was the home of Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy from July 1797 to June 1798. Here Wordsworth and the theologian and fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) wrote their pioneering poetry collection Lyrical Ballads along with several other poems (1798). which, among many notable works, includes these lines from Wordsworth:

. . . the best part of a good man’s life:
His little, nameless, not remembered deeds
Of kindness and love.

The main library of the house also witnessed the first reading of Coleridge’s famous “The Rime of the Ancient Navigator,” which was also featured in lyrical ballads. Wordsworth was the British Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death at the age of 80 in 1850.

The website was reported to have sold for £ 2 million ($ 2.6 million).

There has been an apartment on the historic site for centuries. The 1086 Domesday Book poll documented The Manor of Alfoxton’s existence. The mansion was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt from rubble on the same spot in 1710. The abandoned and dilapidated property was last used as a country hotel.

“Once the building has been restored to at least its former glory, we would like to welcome poets, pilgrims, and nature lovers, many of whom will stop by as they walk the Coleridge Way which passes right by our door,” said Dharmachari Lokabandhu. (BBC News)

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