The gardens at Lowther are really unique, ruined gardens lie in the grounds of a ruined castle in an idyllic pastoral landscape unchanged for hundreds of years. The gardens story begins in the 1690’s when Sir John Lowther laid out massive elaborate gardens in the French baroque style which was fashionable at the time, Sir John’s garden was full of fruit and vegetables, Sir John was one of a very rare breed at the time – he was a vegetarian.
Fortunes and fashions changed over the next 200 years but the gardens remained largely unchanged until the Fifth Earl took over the castle and gardens in the 1882 he set about a major reworking of the gardens with the help of renowned garden designer Thomas Mawson. First the Rose garden was planted then came a massive new rock garden, Japanese garden, Alpine garden and Iris garden to name just a few.
After the Fifth Earl the castle and gardens were abandoned, during the Second World War much of the 9 acres of lawns to the south were concreted over to accommodate a tank regiment, later plantations of conifers were planted in regimented rows through the historic gardens, and a chicken farm placed on the concreted over lawns. 70 years passed with the gardens forgotten beneath layers of neglect and damage until the summer of 2011 when work began to reclaim the magnificent lost gardens.
Grounds under restoration now open daily 10:00 – 5:00 pm, gardens and Courtyard Café open 10 – 3:30 pm.