Welcome to the Website of
The Wordsworth Summer Conference and the Wordsworth Winter School
founded (respectively) in 1970 and 1983



The Buttermere Pines

Two long-running events ... and what people say about them

"such a marvelous event"

The Summer Conference began as the Rydal Mount Summer School, created in 1970 by Richard Wordsworth, the great-great grandson of the poet, in collaboration with Marilyn Gaull of The Wordsworth Circle, to celebrate Wordsworth's work and influence.

"it has changed my life"

The extraordinary ethos of the conference, which was designed to appeal to academics and enthusiasts alike, owes much, also, to Sylvia Wordsworth, its administrator for almost thirty years, Molly Lefebure, the Cumbrian expert and Coleridge biographer, who instituted its rich programme of walks and excursions, Jonathan Wordsworth, who directed the conference from 1993 to 2005, and the genial and learned chairmanship (for almost two decades) of Bill Ruddick.

"truly unique" 

Its influence on Wordsworth and Romantic Studies has been incalculable. A list of past lecturers would amount to a Who's Who of Romantic Studies. Many great works of criticism and scholarship were first aired here, including classic essays by Jonathan Bate, John and Gillian Beer, David Erdman, Geoffrey Hartman, Thomas McFarland, Lucy Newlyn, E. P. Thompson, Nicholas Roe, Nicola Trott, Jonathan Wordsworth and others, and many enduring scholarly projects were conceived on the fells and over dinner.

"the organisation was superb, the hospitality excellent"

The conference combines high level academic discourse (in the form of lectures and research papers) with vigorous fell walks and significant excursions.  

"an extremely happy event"

The Winter School, which has run continuously since 1983, is a four day event, at a more leisurely pace. It consists of morning and evening lectures by experts in the field, group seminars, and an evening reading, and is designed to appeal to general readers from a wide variety of backgrounds who meet to share a common love of poetry and enjoy the landscape in its beautiful winter colours (see Winter School Gallery).

"I had a terrific time"


The Wordsworth Conference Foundation
Tirril Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2JE

Registered in England and Wales, Company No. 6556368
 Registered Office: Clint Mill, Cornmarket, Penrith CA11 7HW