Dove Cottage was the home of William Wordsworth from December 1799 to May 1808, the years of his supreme work as a poet.
As with many old buildings, the early history of Dove Cottage is difficult to trace accurately; although the date of its construction is not recorded, this is likely to have been during the early 17th century. Its original use is also unknown, but during the second half of the 18th century it became an inn called the Dove and Olive. Many of the building's distinctive features date from this time; its white-washed walls, flagstone floors and dark, wood panelling. However, in the early 1790s, the Dove and Olive was closed down. It seems likely that the building remained empty for the next few years, until William and Dorothy Wordsworth arrived as tenants on 20th December 1799.
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