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Photo: Tony Rumsey © Lowther Castle

Lowther Castle, Penrith

Lowther Castle was built in 1806 but the Lowther family have been on the site for much longer. Indeed it is thought their earliest ancestors were Vikings.

It was Viscount Lowther in 1700 who first employed a Wordsworth, bringing the family over from Yorkshire and making Richard – the poet’s grandfather – his agent. When Richard died, his son John – aged just 19 - came to serve Sir James Lowther of Lowther not only as his agent but also as his bailiff. Sir James was fabulously wealthy and obsessed with politics. He was also notoriously mean.

John Wordsworth may have been a loyal servant to ‘Wicked Jimmy’ but he was not paid his dues and after his death, his family were forced into years of lawsuits. When Lowther died in 1802, he owed the family £5000 in outstanding wages and legal fees. Lowther’s heir – William Lonsdale - was an entirely different character and as soon as he inherited, he took care to pay all debts to the Wordsworths. With his wife Augusta, Lonsdale went on to become one of William Wordsworth’s chief patrons.

Lowther Castle was partly demolished in the 1950s. It has become one of Cumbria’s most intriguing visitor attractions – set in a wonderful landscape and still brim full of stories.

Useful Information

Lowther Castle,
CA10 2HH

Telephone: +44(0)19317 12192

Summer 10:00am – 5.00pm
Winter 10:00am – 4.00pm
Open all year except Christmas Day
Discounts for HHA members and
English Heritage card-holders.
Privately owned.

Organisation: Lowther Castle & Garden Trust