Calls for "lost garden" to be restored at Padiham's "Downton of the North" historic hall

The amazing re-appearance of this Italian garden at Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, has prompted calls for it to be restored to its former glory.
The amazing re-appearance of this Italian garden at Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, has prompted calls for it to be restored to its former glory.
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The appearance of a "lost" historic garden at Padiham's Gawthorpe Hall has prompted calls for it to be restored to its former glory.


Burnley woman Ceri Carmichael made the call after seeing the "ghost" garden appear this week during her regular visit there with her pet dogs, Sally and Martha.

The garden in its original state.

The garden in its original state.

She said: "I think this could be an exciting opportunity to reinstate the gardens and would be a beautiful addition to our wonderful Gawthorpe Hall.

"It may also encourage more visitors which in turn may push the National Trust to invest more in Gawthorpe and maybe re-open the amazing Great Barn as a venue."

Ceri also believes that if the investment was made to restore the garden this could lead to businesses such as gift shops and bars wanting to come to Padiham as they would see it is a viable option.

The re-appearance of the garden has sparked a great deal of interest across the North West with many calling for it to be brought back to life as part of the historic hall's heritage.

A regular visitor to Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Ceri Carmichael is calling for the "ghost" garden to be reinstated.

A regular visitor to Gawthorpe Hall, Padiham, Ceri Carmichael is calling for the "ghost" garden to be reinstated.

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 hall, known as the 'Downton of the North" is showing through the current lawn.

It is being labelled as a "ghost garden" and this is third time it has appeared. The first time was in the long hot summer of 1976 and the second time was in the 1980s.

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.

Sir Charles 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 difficult 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 Coun. 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."

Gawthorpe Hall is run by Lancashire County Council's museum service on behalf of the National Trust.