TREASURED paintings belonging to William Wordsworth which have not been seen for generations has been given to Rydal Mount, the poet’s home near Ambleside.

The items include two portraits that have never appeared on public display.

One is of a framed and finished portrait in oils of the poet by Sir William Boxall, the study of which can be found in the National Portrait Gallery and is a dramatic image of Wordsworth emerging from a glowering landscape.

And there’s also a chalk and charcoal drawing by Samuel Crosthwaite, the last known portrait done of Wordsworth while he was still alive. This last portrait shows Wordsworth as a wild old poet at the end of his life rather than the more familiar image as a traditional pillar of Victorian society.

For many though perhaps the most exciting arrival is the Wordsworth family bible, featuring in beautiful copperplate writing the date of John and Anne Wordsworth’s wedding day, and the birth and christening dates of all their children, including William and Dorothy.

Along with more items they will all eventually go on display at Rydal Mount to mark 250 years since the poet’s death.

The treasure troves have all been donated by the direct descendants of Wordsworth who were keen for them to return to their home and remain in the Wordsworth family.

The curator, Emily Heath, said: “This is a truly astonishing and historic collection which students of Wordsworth and lovers of his life and poetry will find fascinating. It is a very exciting moment indeed.”

William Wordsworth's great great great great grandson Christopher Wordsworth Andrew said: “Although we were very sad when my great-uncle, Gordon Wordsworth, died, we are very happy that his grandchildren, and my cousins, Giles and Zara Wordsworth, have generously returned these items to Rydal Mount.

"This was one of the last great collections of paintings, memorabilia and books in my family and it could quickly have been dispersed and lost down further generations. Everything is now preserved for us and the public to view at Rydal Mount.”