Lowther Castle for Kids
We like it because : great castle ruins and miles of woods and open space to run free. They let you climb trees too.
Watch out for: badgers, red squirrels, newts, bird life, orchids.
What’s it all about? :
There has been a castle here for hundreds of years but the castle ruins you see today are from the 1806 home of Hugh Lowther the fifth Earl, also known as the Yellow Earl. He was very famous and unbelievably rich, really like a film star of his day, but he lost a lot of money in the 1920’s and abandoned the castle – just went off one day to his London home in his yellow Rolls Royce – and never came back.
After the Yellow Earl died the Castle was abandoned, the furniture and anything valuable was taken out and either sold or taken to the family’s new home. Later even the roof was removed and only the walls were left standing as a ghostly reminder of past glories.
The Castle and gardens were completely abandoned for 70 years and the wilderness was allowed to creep over the once famous and fabulous gardens which spread for miles in every direction.
Now a lot of the wrong kind of trees (heavy conifer planting) have been taken out which leaves some really good woodland to explore and plenty of picnic spots.
You can still see the ruins of the walled gardens and try and spot the carved stone ball in the tree roots near one of the abandoned summer houses.
The stable courtyard is being turned into a Visitor Centre. The cafe is already open serving home produced food: the shop, museum and castle ruins will be open in 2013, see the Lowther Castle website for more details of opening dates. Castle tours are available at time of writing (Jan 2013)