Hartsop Group Residency

The Society of Authors and the owners of Thomas Grove House are pleased to announce the launch of the Hartsop Group Residency.

Members of the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group (PSWG) are invited to apply for a free group residency of up to two weeks at Thomas Grove House, a historic farmhouse in the Lake District hamlet of Hartsop, in a beautiful location in the rising fells just south of Ullswater.

This is the first time the house is being offered for a residency in this way, and the owners hope that in future years it can become a regular aspect of the life of the house.

It is possible to apply for use of the main house only, or for both the main house and the cottage. Thomas Grove House and Thomas Cottage combined can sleep up to 8 if both twins have double occupancy, or up to 6 if each bedroom has sole occupancy.

About the house

Thomas Grove House sits in a beautiful elevated position, facing south over the valley. It is situated in the heart of the village, next to a working sheep farm. Set back above the narrow unlit village lane that runs out into a path onto the high fells, the house has panoramic views of the surrounding hills.

On the ground floor, the guests will find the kitchen, a bathroom with shower and washer/dryer, and a 30-ft sitting/dining room with comfortable sofa and chairs, large dining table that seats up to 12, and a glazed front door leading to the 19th century stone porch and garden beyond. Upstairs there are four bedrooms (2 doubles, 1 twin, 1 single) and a bathroom.

Thomas Cottage is a self-contained cottage that comprises an adjacent part of the wider Thomas Grove House. If the property is being occupied in its entirety, there are doors that are left open to unify the house as a whole on both the ground and first floors.

Downstairs there is a generous combined kitchen, dining and sitting room, and upstairs a double bedroom and a second twin bedroom that can also serve as a double room, plus a bathroom. The house overall has oil fired central heating, with log burning stoves in both the sitting rooms.

The owners have recently renovated a small outbuilding, which for the purposes of the residency could provide a suitable space for group discussions, or an additional writing space. It is possible to give access to this if desired.

There is parking for up to 4 vehicles on the drive. It is possible to bring one dog to the house, as long as it is kept on a lead at all times near livestock.

Further details for Thomas House can be found on the owners’ website, including diagrams of the property’s layout: www.thomasgrovehartsop.com

Available dates

The house is provisionally reserved for a residency of up to two weeks from 10 to 24 January 2020.

There may also be potential for dates in winter 2020 for groups unable to make these dates.

Views from Thomas Grove House

How to apply

Applications are currently closed

Members should provide a brief proposal on how they intend to run the group residency, their objectives and why this residency would be useful to the participants and their work. The applicant must be a member of the SoA’s Poetry and Spoken Word Group, but it is not necessary for all the attendees to be PSWG members, as long as they are poets.

Please note that successful applicants would need to organise the transport to and from the cottage for the group, as well as their food during their stay. It is possible to be at the cottage without a car. Train stations are either Windermere or Penrith, and supermarket deliveries can be organised. The nearest village shop is 3 miles away across the fields, and there are pubs that serve food both 15 and 30 minutes walk away.

The applicant is responsible for the payment of the cleaning, laundry (excluding towels) and heating costs, which amount to £255 (or £415 for 2 weeks) for use of the main house only, £410 (or £655 for 2 weeks) for use of both the main house and the cottage. 

The group residency must be run on a non-for-profit basis. The deadline for applications has been extended to Monday 16 September 2019 at 5 pm. Any questions, please email Nadia Bonini.


This is the first time Thomas Grove House will be used in this way, and the owners would like feedback and comments from the poets that stay there to help shape future plans.

For more information, or to apply, please contact Nadia Bonini.