John Clare Cottage & Garden

Type:Historic House

John Clare Cottage, 12 Woodgate, Helpston, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE6 7ED

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John Clare Cottage

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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

John Clare

Tucked away between Stamford and Peterborough lies the village of Helpston, the birthplace and home of John Clare (1793-1864).  John Clare was born in the village, and the cottage was his home where he lived with his family for most of his life.

Guide Prices

Standard Admissions
Adult - £4.95
Children (U16) - £4.20
Concession - £4.20
Family (2+2) - £16.50



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Wheelchairs available

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • On-site catering
  • On-site light refreshments


  • Children welcome


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality


  • Free Parking
  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
  • Gift shop
  • Guided tours for individuals
  • Smoking not allowed

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Road:Approached from a number of "A" roads including:A47/A1/A16/A15 and then the B1443 towards HelpstonAccessible by Public Transport: Peterborough station is 10 miles away.

Opening Times

* The cottage is open Mondays and Thursdays 10am until 3pm (Last entry to the Cottage 2 pm).

Group visits can be booked in advance; we advise visitors to ring or check the website beforehand to confirm that the Cottage is open.

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