'Ghost Garden' appears at Lancashire stately home
A 'lost' historic garden hidden for many years is now clearly visible thanks to the recent heatwave.
Due to the current spell of prolonged hot weather, and various types of soil drying at different rates, the layout of the Italianate style south parterre garden at the front of the 'Downton of the North' Gawthorpe Hall is showing through the current lawn, creating a 'ghost garden.' The garden was redesigned in the 1850s by Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament, when he was commissioned to restore the Jacobean stately home in Padiham. Sir Charles Barry redesigned the garden at the front and back of the Hall. The garden at the back is smaller and still in place but the front one became too onerous to maintain after the Second World War, and was removed in 1946. Other features at the side of the garden area are also noticeable. These lines could date back to the garden that was in place before it was replaced by the parterre. County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "The recent hot weather has certainly unveiled an historic gem. "I would encourage people to go along to Gawthorpe Hall, and take this rare opportunity to see this historic hidden garden for themselves, before it rains and disappears. "What a great chance to see something that we have never seen before, and that we would normally only be able to view by looking at the original Victorian plans kept at Lancashire Archives in Preston, or the photographs on show in the Hall." Entrance to the garden and grounds of Gawthorpe Hall is free. Normal admission price to Gawthorpe Hall is Â£6 for adults and Â£4 for concessions. National Trust members and children go free. For more information telephone 01282 771004 or email [email protected] Gawthorpe Hall is run by Lancashire County Council's museum service on behalf of the National Trust. Normal opening times are 12pm to 5pm Wednesdays to Sundays, with last entry to the Hall at 4.30pm. The museum is open on Bank Holidays. To find out more about Gawthorpe Hall and other Lancashire County Council museums visit ww.lancashire.gov.uk/museums