An introduction to William Cowper (1731–1800)
From 1768 to 1786 William Cowper called this house in Olney his home.
Orchard House is still full of mementos of his life here. . .
Orchard Side provided Cowper with a retreat from the stresses of city life. Once he arrived in Olney he never travelled more than a few miles away; in a letter to a friend in 1782 he described his life; ‘by a domestic fireside, in a retreat as silent as retirement can make it; where no noise is made but what we make for our own amusement. For instance, here are two Ladies and your humble Servant in company; one of the ladies has been playing on the Harpsichord, while I, with the other have been playing at Battledore and Shuttlecock’.
Cowper loved his garden and spent many hours in his summer-house, still a favourite with today’s visitors. #museum