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Sizergh Castle

©NTPL/Andrew Butler

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The imposing Sizergh Castle stands at the gateway to the Lake District near Kendal. It has been home to the Strickland family for more than 750 years and they go down in history as one of the great military families of England.

One look at the castle tells a great deal about the status of the family and about the historic vulnerability of this region. The original castle had a moat protecting its 60 foot high walls which end in crenelated battlements. Eventually Sizergh Castle evolved into a fortified mansion over the centuries of changes and modifications.

The family were strict Catholics and remained devoted to the Stuart cause, even accompanying James II to France during his exile. Peaceful and happier
©NTPL/Andreas von Einsiedel
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days now surround this family home with its historic family portraits and beautiful furniture.

Behind the mullioned windows is a wealth of craftsmanship including five carved armorial chimneypieces. Oak panelling in the corridors dates back to the time of Henry VIII and the central Pele Tower, complete with stair turret, has some superb 16th century carved oak benches.

The Inlaid Chamber has some of England's finest Elizabethan panelling. The ornate panels are inlaid with poplar and bog oak to give a three-dimensional finish and are a real work of art. In hard times the Strickland family was forced to sell the decorative panelling to the Victoria and Albert Museum, but it was kindly returned to Sizergh Castle and reinstalled in 1999.

The original state bed with its golden silk bedspread which once belonged to James II and the beautiful stained glass make the Inlaid Chamber a wonderful room to experience at the very top of the castle.

Sizergh Castle's grey exterior is softened with its covering of
©NTPL/Val Corbett
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Virginia creeper which turns vivid red and orange in the autumn.

The 647-hectare (1600-acre) estate has a host of attractions including an extensive and beautifully planted limestone rock garden. It has a natural-looking mountain stream running through the acre of conifers and alpines. The National Collection of Hardy Ferns also thrives in this cool and shady location.

Terraced lawns lead down to the lake and the meadows are strewn with orchids and wild daffodils in season. There is a summer herbaceous border, fruit orchards, rose gardens and an unusual avenue of rowan trees. The kitchen garden and orangery continue to produce vegetables and fruits.

Visitors can enjoy walks through the grounds of Sizergh Castle to dramatic panoramic viewpoints of the Lake District moorland and the distant Morecambe Bay.

The National Trust has an active programme of events including guided walks, theatre productions and workshops of various topics at this venue. The shop has various guided walk leaflets and provides a self-guide leaflet for the Children's Garden Treasure Hunt.

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By Bus
Stagecoach in Cumbria 555 Keswick-Kendal/Lancaster (passing close Lancaster railway station), 552 Kendal-Arnside (passing close Arnside railway station). All pass Kendal railway station

NCN6, 1½ miles. RCR20 passes main gate. View local cycle routes on the National Cycle Network website.

By road
M6 exit 36 then A590 towards Kendal, take Barrow-in-Furness turning and follow brown signs. From Lake District take A591 south then A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness. Sat Nav: enter LA8 8DZ

By train
Oxenholme 3 miles

On foot
footpaths 530002 and 530003 pass by Sizergh Castle

Ordnance survey reference

Sizergh Castle Postcode for SatNav: LA8 8DZ


015395 60951

near Kendal

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