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Lowther Castle and Gardens

July 19, 2011

When my son was younger we used to go quite regularly to the area near Lowther Castle to Lowther Wildlife and Adventure park, which has since closed. We would pass the castle from the road and wonder what it was like closer up. I was delighted when I heard it was being restored and that the public could now view the restoration and wander the gardens.

Jack Croft's Pond Lowther Estate.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but on arrival it was amazing to see how close we were going to be able to get to see the restoration the craftsmen and women were doing.

Lowther Castle

I decided to take a wander round the grounds. There were several trails to follow but I had read about Jack Croft’s pond, so headed that way first.

Interesting features.

Everywhere you looked there were interesting features from a time gone by. The castle and gardens have laid abandoned for 70 years and are open for the first time since 1938. It is exciting to think what will be discovered. With more than 130 acres of garden I am sure there will be more than a few surprises.

Mushrooms. Lowther Estate.

Not only were there interesting man made features, but an abundance of natural features too. I hear that the red squirrels are making a comeback which is great news.

Jack Croft's Pond

Imagine my surprise on reaching Jack Croft’s pond when I discovered all the beautiful yellow iris in bloom.

Iris. Lowther Estate

The reflections of yellow iris and purple rhododendron on the water were gorgeous, if ever a pool was made for wild swimming it was this!

Lovely reflections

There was a little log cabin situated at the end of the pond, which must have been a wonderful place to sit and contemplate the view.

Log cabin. Lowther

Dragging myself away I headed through the woods to the limestone escarpment which had breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

View from the estate

Over the years a veritable roll call of famous names have worked at Lowther. These include, Turner, Wordsworth and Lancelot “Capability” Brown.

Scented Garden Lowther

Throughout the grounds signs had been placed so that you could establish where the various areas of the garden had been. Some were easy to guess, like this scented garden area as you really could smell the flowers.

Garden at Lowther

Some areas were slightly more difficult to work out. I had convinced myself this was the Japanese garden but it appeared to be the Rock garden.

A surprise round every corner

Time was getting on so I made my way back to the house. There was a useful board showing the schedule of restoration.

Lowther Castle restoration

The workers had left but it was interesting to view what will become a very interesting visitor attraction on the edge of the Lake District. With restored castle ruins, gardens, a stable courtyard with shopping, eating and accommodation, gallery and lawns to hold events on.

Lowther Castle

The castle as it remains today was completed in 1816. It will be lovely to see it being restored after a chequered past which included being used to test secret tank weapons in the Second World War, and a chicken farm!

Grand Entrance Hall

So for an interesting day out, why not bring a picnic, wander the grounds and be one of the first to see this building flourish. With an estimate of opening in Spring 2012 there is obviously still a lot of work to do, and I think the gardens will always be a work in progress but it really is well worth a visit.

Lowther Castle

 

 

From → Lowther

2 Comments
  1. I see you wrote this in July. When I lived in England we used to go to Lowther Country Fair in August, and loved it (if you’re into that kind of lifestyle of course!). Have you read “The Yellow Earl” by Douglas Sutherland? Fascinating stuff!

    • Yes, Lord Lonsdale was quite a character. He used to arrive at Grasmere sports with a whole lot of bright yellow Rolls Royce carrying his house guests, and caused quite a stir. Love “real characters” like that.

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