Our December Painting: Laura Diggens paints Lowther Castle


My final painting for Historic Houses this year. From Cumbria to Cornwall, Jacobean to Victorian, it’s been a brilliant year of travelling the length and breadth of the country visiting just a handful of the diverse and fascinating collection of member properties of Historic Houses.

Lowther Castle has been occupied by the same family since 1150 and was strategically located to protect against England from Scotland for much of its life. Redesigned numerous times the present incarnation, although now a shell of itself, it was designed by Robert Smirke, designer of the British Museum, in 1806.

The height of grandeur, it boasted a room for every day of the year and the Yellow Earl in the twentieth century became infamous for his extravagance.

The castle fell into disrepair but has been reinvigorated in its roofless state by Dan Pearson Studio who has designed a series of new landscapes sited within the castle walls as well as a contemporary parterre that is as striking in the summer as on a grey day in November filled with grasses and perennial planting. The anemones and salvias that were still holding on on my visit gave a delightful pop of colour against the geometric topiary. 

See more of Laura Diggens’ work here

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Forde Abbey in Somerset

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