St Oswalds Church
St Oswalds Church, which is in Grasmere in Cumbria, was apparently built in 642 AD by the then King of Northumbria, St Oswald. The baptistery window represents St Oswald. It is not clear whether it was built on the present site, or nearby the well which carries his name on Red Bank Road. This is the parish church of Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale – there are separate gates for each township into the churchyard. In 1490 the North aisle was added for the residents of Langdale.
William Wordsworth, who’s prayer book is in a glass case near the organ, planted eight of the yew trees in the churchyard. He, together with his wife, children and other members of the family are buried in this churchyard. The 13th century nave holds several memorials, however, the one most people come to see from near and far is that of William Wordsworth. It is reported that this church is visited by between 120 000 to 140 000 people each year. Hartley Coleridge, eldest son of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (who was not only a friend of the Wordsworths but also became one of the Lake Poets), is also buried in this churchyard.
The Rushbearing, which is an ancient tradition, served as a practical purpose in creating a floor covering for the church. However, since the introduction of pews and the slate floor in 1841, this tradition has now no practical purpose but still continues as a village celebration. The date of Rushbearing, which in 2003 was changed to July to coincide with the last Saturday of Grasmere School’s summer term in order to include all the children in the celebration, can be found under the notices on their website.