The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Lumley Castle

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Lumley Castle, built in the reign of Edward I., is situated on the brow of a hill, commanding views over a well-wooded valley of the first description. The principal drive leads to the west front; the ascent to the great entrance-hall is by two divisions of stairs, parallel with the building, forming a spacious resting-place before entering. From this is seen the river Wear, formed into a beautiful sheet of water by means of a dam. Half a mile farther is the town of Cheater le Street, with its ancient church and lofty spire, the highest in the north of England. In one side of the church, which was built prior to the castle, are the statues of many of the forefathers of the Lumleys; likewise that of St. Cuthbert, whose remains had lain here 115 years, when the monks, expelled by the Danes, fled with them to Ripon. Lumley Castle is a quadrangular edifice, with four majestic octangular towers; remarkable for being the resting-place of James I. of Scotland, on his way to ascend the throne of England. The castle is seen from the great London road for five miles, and is much admired by travellers. This noble building has not been inhabited by any of the proprietors, the Earls of Scarborough, for thirty years. The garden, which is small, is situated in a valley to the east of the castle; and has been let for many years to Mr. Earl, who, besides being a good gardener, is also a florist. [Editor's Note: The original Lumley Castle was adapted Sir John Vanbrugh. It became a hall of residence for Durham University and is now (2005) a hotel]