Sizergh Castle and Garden

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Sizergh Castle, pele tower and Tudor house

Sizergh Castle and Garden is a castle, stately home and garden at Helsington in the English county of Cumbria, about 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Kendal, and in the care of the National Trust. It is a grade I listed building. [1]


The core of the medieval castle is a 14th-century solar tower surrounded by a Tudor house with oak-panelled interiors, including the Inlaid Chamber, complete with period furniture and panelling inlaid with poplar and oak.

The Castle contains a variety of paintings, including the following:

  • Strickland family portraits, including works by local artist George Romney,[3] a portrait of Mrs Anne Strickland (the artist's mother) by Harriet Strickland (1816–1903),[4] and a portrait of Lady Edeline Sackville.[5]

The contents of the Inlaid Chamber had been sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). During the last part of the 20th century, the V&A starting loaning the panelling back piecemeal. The entirety of the panelling was restored in 1999 under a long-term loan.


The Deincourt family owned this land from the 1170s. On the marriage of Elizabeth Deincourt to Sir William de Stirkeland in 1239, the estate passed into the hands of what became the Strickland family, who owned it until it was gifted to the National Trust in 1950. The Strickland family still live at the Castle.

The estate dates from 1336, when a grant from Edward III allowed Sir Walter Strickland to enclose the land around Sizergh as his exclusive park.

Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry VIII and a relative of the Stricklands, is thought to have lived here after her first husband died in 1533. Catherine's second husband, Lord Latymer, was kin to the dowager Lady Strickland.[6][7]

It was extended in Elizabethan times. Sir Thomas Strickland went into exile with James II.

Around 1770, the great hall was again expanded in the Georgian style.


Sizergh Castle and part of the garden

The garden has a lake and a kitchen garden as well as an award-winning rock garden. The rock garden is the largest limestone rock garden belonging to the National Trust and includes part of the National Collection of hardy ferns.


The estate covers 647 hectares (1,600 acres).[8]


Sizergh is a good place to see the hawfinch,[9] and fritillary butterflies.[10] In 2014 it was reported that an area of wetland habitat was being created on the estate, with funding from Natural England, in the hope of attracting bittern and other wildlife.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Name: SIZERGH CASTLE List entry Number: 1318962". English Heritage. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Corp, Edward, Belle, Alexis-Simon (1674–1734) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, September 2004)
  3. ^ Walter Strickland (1729 - 1761). National Trust Collections
  4. ^ Anne Cholmeley (1796–1829), Mrs Jarrard Edward Strickland
  5. ^ Lady Edeline Sackville (1870–1918), Lady Strickland. Your Paintings
  6. ^ Susan E. James. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII's Last Love. The History Press, 2008, 2009. pg 56.
  7. ^ Linda Porter, Katherine the Queen. Macmillan, 2010. pg 58.
  8. ^ "Sizergh - Visitor information". National Trust. Retrieved 2012-10-03. 
  9. ^ Our elusive hawfinch
  10. ^ The Best Places to Photograph Wildlife in the UK
  11. ^ Dickinson, Katie. "Park End Moss aims to bring wildlife flooding in". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°17′04″N 2°46′19″W / 54.28444°N 2.77194°W / 54.28444; -2.77194