Sizergh Castle and Garden

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Sizergh Castle, pele tower and Tudor house

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

In 2016 the Sizergh estate was included in the newly extended Lake District National Park.[2]


The tower at Sizergh Castle, as viewed from the South

The earliest part of the building is a tower of fourteenth or fifteenth century date.[1]


There are oak-panelled interiors, including the Inlaid Chamber, where the panelling is inlaid with floral and geometric patterns in pale poplar and dark bog-oak. The contents of the Inlaid Chamber were sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the 1890s and it was displayed as a reconstructed period room. The return of the panelling to its original location at Sizergh was advocated by among others Mark Girouard. The panelling returned in 1999 under a long-term loan.[3] In 2017 it was reported that transfer of ownership to the National Trust had been made formal.[4]

The bargeboards probably date from the seventeenth century.


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

Portraits gallery[edit]


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 by Gerald Strickland, 1st Baron Strickland's grandson Lt. Cdr. Thomas Hornyold-Strickland, 7th Count della Catena.[9]

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.[10][11]

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.

Media interest[edit]

The Castle was featured in the ITV documentary Inside the National Trust.[12]


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, which was constructed in the 1920s, is the largest limestone rock garden belonging to the National Trust. It includes part of the National Collection of hardy ferns.


In 1336 a grant from Edward III allowed Sir Walter Strickland to enclose the land around Sizergh as his exclusive park.

The estate covers 647 hectares (1,600 acres).[13]


There are various types of habitat on the estate. For example, in 2014 it was reported that 35 ha of wetland habitat was being created in the Lyth Valley on the western edge of the estate. The project received funding from Natural England as part of a higher level stewardship scheme. It is hoped to attract bittern and other wildlife.[14]

Sizergh has received support from the Morecambe Bay Nature Improvement Area which received three years of government grant funding (2012–15). Projects continue under the auspices of the Morecambe Bay Partnership, a registered charity.[15]


The Sizergh estate is a good place to see birds. For example, hawfinches are attracted to the area because of its hornbeam trees, and these birds sometimes come close to the main car park.[16][15]


Fritillary butterflies live on the estate.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Sizergh Castle (1318962)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Yorkshire Dales and Lake District national parks to be extended". October 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Inlaid Room at Sizergh Castle". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  4. ^ Kennedy (2017). "V&A returns Tudor bedroom..."
  5. ^ Corp, Edward, Belle, Alexis-Simon (1674–1734) in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press, September 2004 (subscription or UK public library membership required for online access)
  6. ^ Walter Strickland (1729 - 1761). National Trust Collections
  7. ^ Anne Cholmeley (1796–1829), Mrs Jarrard Edward Strickland
  8. ^ Lady Edeline Sackville (1870–1918), Lady Strickland. Your Paintings
  9. ^ "Meet Henry Hornyold-Strickland, Sizergh". National Trust. Archived from the original on 2014-02-05.
  10. ^ Susan E. James. Catherine Parr: Henry VIII's Last Love. The History Press, 2008, 2009. pg 56.
  11. ^ Linda Porter, Katherine the Queen. Macmillan, 2010. pg 58.
  12. ^ "Video: 'Inside the National Trust': preview". The Daily Telegraph. 12 October 2013.
  13. ^ "Sizergh - Visitor information". National Trust. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2012-10-03.
  14. ^ Dickinson, Katie. "Park End Moss aims to bring wildlife flooding in". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Hawfinch recovery project". Morecambe Bay Local Nature Partnership. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  16. ^ Our elusive hawfinch
  17. ^ The Best Places to Photograph Wildlife in the UK

External links[edit]

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