Just off the A39 from Bridgwater to Minehead is the little village of Nether Stowey. On a bleak December day, the last of the year 1796 Coleridge and his wife and child moved into this house from their cottage at Clevedon. It had been secured by the local tanner Thomas Poole, and Coleridge was delighted to be moving in to a house where the garden connected with his friend Poole’s own house, and library.
This is the house where The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight and others of Coleridge’s finest work were written. It was here where he was arguably at the peak of his powers and enjoying the happiest times of his life. Perhaps he sensed this when he wrote of his conviction that he would after all be able to make a difference to people’s lives as a candle burning in his cottage window, shedding light far and wide over the world.
The Cottage now belongs to the National Trust and is managed by them and the Friends of Coleridge. Visiting times and other information is available on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-coleridgecottage