Our Lake District Historic Roots
“Coatehow” as it was known, derives from the word “cote” meaning shelter and "how" meaning small hill.
Cote How has been the location of choice for centuries. It was here in Roman times, that a lookout post was situated, serving visitors using the old Roman road and ford across the river Rothay. Later a Medieval watch tower, Cote How’s foundations are built into the high rocks dominating the Rydal Valley, with views North towards Hadrian’s Wall. In 1535 the farmhouse was added, including the original Tudor spinning gallery. The house became a haven for travellers wishing to cross the swelling River Rothay just yards away. With its slate floors, lime wash finish and slate stone walls, Cote How encapsulates a subtle relationship of built and natural environment, essential to the beauty of the Lake District, in a way few other venues can achieve. This special place oozes with energy, warmth and spirit, and is an experience in itself!
The Tudor Spinning Gallery 1535
The earliest known origins of Cote How are of a hexagonal tower (thought to be medieval) which was extended in 1535 with the addition of an Elizabethan house, complete with spinning gallery. This part of the house was built by Michael Benson, a clothier from Manchester. The house - formerly a farm - has seen many tenants over the years who have put Cote How to a number of different uses. Originally built as a farm; it has been a Sunday school, a war time boarding school, split into two separate cottages, home to the Master of the hunt with dog kennels and stables in our party barn, a riding school and more recenly a home and bed and breakfast business. Caroline ran Cote How as an organic tearoom na bed & breakfast and since 2013 has run Cote How as a fully exlcusive specilaist bespoke wedding venue.
1900 - to Today
Home to Local Artist - Frederick Yates
From 1901 – 1907, the local artist Frederick Yates lived here as tenant.
An American President's Love Affair with the English Lake District
Ex American President Woodrow Wilson had his portrait painted here at Cote How by Frederick Yeates in 1906. Extracts form the book "An American President's Love Affair with the English Lake District" sets out lots of charming information about Woodrow's love of this stunning place. He would travel every year from America by boat and stay in a holiday cottage Under Loughrigg for 3 months each summer.
This Portrait was commissioned by Princeton University with Woodrow in his academic robes as President of the University at that time. Unfortunately the painting cannot be traced!
Rydal - The Real home of William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850)
"emotion recollected in tranquility"
William was born in Cockermouth, and although he spent a few years of his adult life in Grasmere from 1799-1808, he l
ived the majority of his life until his death he lived here in Rydal at Rydal Mount 1813 - 1850.
As a young man, Wordsworth developed a love of nature, a theme reflected in many of his poems. Wordsworth gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility," A tranquility he found here in the awe inspiring Lake District.
The house and boathouse are favourite subjects of many paintings and photographs in and around Rydla and Rydal Water overthe years; but did you know that our own boathouse features in the film “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” starring Meryl Streep!
So, Rydal Water had been the destination of the Romantics for years... You can see why!