REPAIR work to a treasured building steeped in literary history has finally been completed after over a year of its ground floor being held up by scaffolding.

The team at Allan Bank house in Grasmere has made the most of time closed during the pandemic to tackle longstanding woodworm damage to structural timbers in the cellar and ground floor of the former residence of William Wordsworth.

Thanks to a financial boost from the government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, the £45,000 project was able to go ahead between January and March this year.

For over a year and a half the ground floor of the building has been supported by scaffolding in the cellar, where the damp environment resulted in serious woodworm issues.

The condition of the building suffered further damage in April last year when the ceiling of renowned poet Samuel Coleridge’s former bedroom collapsed.

The project has involved replacing rotten timbers for structural integrity as well as installing additional supporting beams in the cellar.

Traditional lath and plaster were used to re-build Coleridge’s bedroom ceiling and where possible the original timber has been salvaged and floorboards have been replaced in their original locations.

In addition, the project involved work to free up old drainage channels in the cellar and improve ventilation to help keep the building dry and reduce humidity in the future.

Emma Wright, National Trust collections and house manager, said: “Whilst we are raring to welcome visitors back into the house at Allan Bank as soon as government guidelines allow, it has been good to have this time behind closed doors to complete this essential work, ensuring that Allan Bank remains standing for our visitors to enjoy well in to the future.”

While the house remains closed, the garden and woodland grounds at Allan Bank are open for pre-booked visits and the team hope to have parts of the house open by May 17, if government guidelines allow.

This year visitors can look forward to seeing giant portraits of former Allan Bank residents Hardwicke Rawnsley, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge, drawn on the walls of the house by local artist Sarah Jackman.

Opening times and booking information can be found at