image for Historic House item typeJohn Clare Cottage & Garden

Historic House

Clare Cottage

Clare Cottage


John Clare Cottage,
12 Woodgate, Helpston,


The John Clare Trust purchased Clare Cottage in 2005, preserving it for future generations. The Cottage has been restored, using traditional building methods, to create a centre where people can learn about John Clare, his works, how rural people lived in the early 19th century and also gain an understanding of the environment.
The Cottage contains examples of his work together with information about his life. Some of the rooms have been returned to the style that would have been found in cottages in the early 19th century in rural England. The gardens have been redesigned and planted with varieties which would have been seen in Clare's time.
The Cottage also has a shop and cafe where you can get refreshments.
The village of Helpston contains a number of historic buildings that were in use during Clare's time, it is also the centre of the surrounding countryside where John Clare walked as a youth.

John Clare spent most of his life in this area of England, working in the local fields, as a potboy at the Blue Bell Inn which is next to the Cottage, in the gardens of Burghley House, briefly in the militia in Oundle, and at the lime kilns north of Stamford. His first volume of poems was published in 1820 when he achieved his fame. He moved to live in Northborough before being committed to asylums in Epping Forest and Northampton where he died in 1864. He is buried in the graveyard of St. Botolph's Church Helpston next to his parents.

Full details of the Cottage can be found at

Coach parties acceptedCredit cards accepted (no fee)Disabled toiletsEducation/study areaFacilities for groupsFacilities for educational visitsGift shopOn-site cateringOn-site light refreshmentsWheelchairs availableAccepts groupsFacilities for conferencingFacilities for corporate hospitality

Children welcomeDisabled accessDogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Guided tours for individualsGuided tours for groupsSmoking not allowed

Opening details

The Cottage is open Friday, Saturday and Monday from 11am to 4pm in the summer and 11am to 3pm in the Winter. Group visits can be booked in advance and you are advised to ring, or check the website before visiting to confirm that the Cottage is open.


See location of John Clare Cottage and Garden on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TF 121052  Lat: 52.63297 Long: -0.34504

By Road:
Approached from a number of "A" roads including:A47/A1/A16/A15 and then the B1443 towards Helpston

Parking: free

Parking: with charge

Accessible by Public Transport: 10 miles from Peterborough station


  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Education/study areaEducation/study area
  • Facilities for groupsFacilities for groups
  • Facilities for educational visitsFacilities for educational visits
  • Gift shopGift shop
  • On-site cateringOn-site catering
  • On-site light refreshmentsOn-site light refreshments
  • Wheelchairs availableWheelchairs available
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Facilities for conferencingFacilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitalityFacilities for corporate hospitality
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Guided tours for individualsGuided tours for individuals
  • Guided tours for groupsGuided tours for groups
  • Smoking not allowedSmoking not allowed

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