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43. Sizergh Castle, Cumbria, England

& a Lyth Valley Walk, early May 2016

English Lake District, Cumbria (ex Cumberland/Westmorland)

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The Tudor house entrance and Pele tower of Sizergh Castle. Sizergh Castle and Garden is a stately home and garden near Helsington in Cumbria, England, and is approximately 4 miles south of Kendal. Sizergh Castle and gardens are managed by the National Trust. Sizergh Castle is a grade I listed building and well worth a visit for its long history and architecture.

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When Elizabeth Deincourt married Sir William de Strickland 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. So, for nearly 800 years members of the Strickland family have lived here and continue to do so today.


The gardens and estate grounds are lovely to walk around.




A most peaceful scene.




The entrance to the Sizergh Castle estate office.


The very nice cafe and gift shop at Sizergh Castle with lots of free parking spaces.


From Sizergh Castle, on a good footpath, we walked northwest towards Holeslack farm.


Looking southeast across Holeslack Farm (chimneys of this National Trust cottage)


The walk continues until you overlook the Lyth valley and views to the NNW of the Lakeland hills and mountains.


The view NNW from the Chapel of St John, Helsington


The Chapel of St John, Helsington, was built in 1726 as a chapel of ease of Kendal parish Church.


St John's Chapel is beautifully situated overlooking the Lyth Valley.


The nave and chancel form one continuous space. St John's Chapel, Helsington, has one very distinctive feature. Right across the wall above the altar at the east end of the church is a mural painting by an artist called Miss Saumarez. The 1919 mural is effectively a war memorial painting reflecting the post war desolation in using the view outside to depict a scene of mountains, the river and sea and kneeling angels in prayer. The painting is influenced the Pre-Raphaelite school of painting. The mural artist was Marion de Saumarez (1885-1978) who studied at the Academie Julian in Paris. In 1905 she gained Honourable Mention for a painting at the Salon and the following year she exhibited portrait paintings in London and Paris. She undertook two World War I war memorial paintings, including this one in Helsington. Its worth the walk from Sizergh Castle to view this 'delicate' beautiful, almost ephemeral painting.


The chancel and mural painting above the altar.


Details of the mural.



You then descend in a northwest direction.


The view south to Arnside, Silverdale and Morecambe Bay.


The stretch of water in the Lyth valley is a good place for bird watching as you head southwest the Chapel of St John.


Southwest from the St John's Chapel, sheep pens are marked on the OS map and a hide (centre of left picture) has been built to overlook the freshwater 'lake' and reed beds (right picture view).


The view NNW fro the hide in the Lyth Valley


Lovely relaxing walking through the bluebells and trees of Brigsteer Park, managed by the National Trust.


After Brigsteer Wood you then head northeast back to Sizergh Castle and the cafe!




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