On 7 October 1818, Dorothy Wordsworth climbed England’s tallest peak: Scafell Pike. Her description of the climb is among the earliest surviving accounts of this feat, although by the end of the 19th century the mountain would be recognised as a favourite among British climbers and mountaineers.
Dorothy’s account is remarkable, too, in that it is part of a rich tradition of early mountaineering about which we often forget: that is, women’s pioneering roles in advancing mountaineering and upland walking as a recreational activity. This exhibition explores Dorothy’s place in the history of women’s mountaineering, and reveals how the Lake District became an important site for women’s upland adventures.
As part of this exhibition, we are hosting ‘Women’s Walks to Remember’, a project created by researcher and artist Louise Ann Wilson, which celebrates the walking-lives of Lake District women, the importance of landscape and remembering, and Dorothy Wordsworth’s own longing to walk at a time in her life when she was no longer able to. Louise’s beautiful immersive installation, ‘Dorothy’s room’, will be on display alongside ‘This Girl Did’ until 23 December 2019.