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John Clare Cottage begins new education programme | 03-Jan-12

Education at John Clare Cottage

Another literary house has joined the national network of poet's places. John Clare (1793-1864), who grew up in Helpston nr. Peterborough, is famed for his depictions of rural life during a time of industrial change. Now his childhood home is open to the public, managed by a Trust which pledges to work with education and the environment.

Teaching staff at Clare Cottage are available for consultation by schools and colleges across the country, to provide curriculum-based sessions for incoming tours. Education Outreach officer Lynn Parker (also known as Shoestring poet Rennie Parker) says they are 18 months into their ambitious development programme. 'We're a great location for creative writing,' she says. 'Primary classes really benefit from writing couplets in the local woods like Clare used to do, and children enjoy using the handling objects and period pieces we've got in the restored house. There's also been a lot of interest from U3A branches and book groups - particularly as Clare continues to be a fascinating subject for novelists and poets.'

The site operates as a year-round visitor attraction, with a restored cottage garden as well as the house itself. It is also accessible by public transport (buses from Peterborough Mon-Sat) and is situated in easy cycling country.

General details: or 01733 253 330.
House closed on Thurs, Jan-March 2012.
Educational queries - contact Lynn on 07515 288 602 or Nicola on 07921 059 955.
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