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!

Cote How Spinning GalleryThe 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. It has been a Sunday school, a farm, split into two separate cottages, home to the Master of the hunt, a riding school and for the last 12 years, a bed and breakfast. Caroline now runs Cote How and offers the entire house on an exclusive basis for weddings and special occasions. 

Victorian Cote How

Home to Local Artist - Frederick Yates

In 1875, Cote How was sold to the ‘Le Fleming’ family for £850, when it was let as two cottages and served as the first Rydal Sunday School. From 1901 – 1907, the local artist Frederick Yates lived here as tenant.

 

Woodrow Wilson Sketch by Frederick Yates 1906
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! 

William WordsworthRydal - 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 lived 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.

 

1900 - to Today

Since the turn of the last century, Cote How has been a Sunday School, a war time boarding school, the home of the Master of the local hunt with dog kennels and stables in our party barn and a riding school. Ex-American President Woodrow Wilson had his portrait painted here in 1906 by then tenant artist Fred Yates. Of course, we all know of Wordsworth’s affection for Rydal, his home, 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!

Picture Perfect Wedding Landscapes

 

 

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Cote How Lake District Weddings
Rydal, Near Ambleside
Cumbria, LA22 9LW
Tel: 015394 32765 (9:00 - 17:00)
info at cotehow dot co dot uk

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