These photographs were taken in 2011 and show some relevant landmarks associated with John Clare in the village of Helpston, Northamptonshire where he grew up. A major omission is the countryside which influenced his life, values and poetry. This is because the fields which now surround the village were not there – at least during the early part of his life. An enormous change took place when common land was enclosed and individual strips of agricultural land were reassigned in a bid to make farming more efficient – a process commonly known as the enclosures and it resulted in much of the pattern of fields we see today. While food production did increase, some people were displaced from their traditional holdings and access was restricted, where before people could wander at will.

Below we have the cottage where John Clare grew up,a couple of views of his memorial, and the local church which has his grave in its churchyard.

a view of the cottage where the poet John Clare lived


  a poet is born not made