William Blake was an English poet, painter and printmaker. One of his most famous works is a book called Songs of Innocence and Experience. Situated in the village of Felpham, Blakes’ Cottage is where the poet and artist lived from 1800 to 1803.
The Cottage is one of only two houses to survive of the nine residences that Blake occupied during his lifetime. It was here that he wrote the words to the hymn Jerusalem, and where he was accused of treason. His three year sojourn in the cottage marked the beginning of the most important period in Blake’s creative life.
The cottage has Grade II listed status and in recent years has been the subject of restoration work. The Trust renovating the cottage also wants to purchase the second and only other surviving house that Blake lived in during his lifetime, located at No 17 South Molton Street in London’s West End, thereby linking the city with the sea.
The cottage is close to several local pubs. Just across the road from the cottage, The Fox, named after a Customs and Excise cutter, dates back to 1790. Blake used to drink here and was once (falsely) charged with sedition after finding a soldier in his garden, who was quite possibly inebriated.
You can currently visit the cottage on open days to see a replica of Blake’s Eighteenth Century Wooden Rolling Press at work. Visit the Blake’s Cottage website for full details and to plan your visit.