windermere panoramic
Levens Hall & Topiary GardensKendal
Cumbria LA8 0PD
 
   
Levens Hall in the southern Lake District is an historic 16th century stately home with many interesting features but it is best known for its magnificent topiary garden.  It is famous because it has not changed since it was first laid out in 1694 and the sculpted trees are some of the oldest in the world.
 
The topiary is architectural in size and form – other landscape gardeners would build stone arches and obelisks but not Guillaume Beaumont.  He created huge abstract shapes, pyramids and columns reminiscent of giant chess men.
 
Within the Topiary Garden is a small orchard of apples and medlars (pruned to keep them at a low height), a nuttery and herb garden, a bowling green, a rose garden, herbaceous borders and seasonal bedding.  The topiary, beech hedges and colourful seasonal beds create a stunning visual impact.
 
Other gardens have been created – a fountain garden, bordered with pleached limes, was created to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the original garden lay out in the 17th century.  There is also a deer park inhabited by black fallow deer and a children’s adventure playground.
 
Levens Hall
The house is a magnificent Elizabethan stone mansion built around a 13th century Pele tower. A good description of a Pele Tower is at Web:  Visit Cumbria – Pele Tower
 
The visitor can see carved oak panelling, elaborate Italian plasterwork, including Elizabeth the First’s coat of arms and stained glass from the 1590s.
 
Further renovations occurred in 1688 when Colonel James Grahme acquired the house. He brought with him a young French gardener, Guillaume Beaumont, who laid out a fashionable Jacobean garden, the famous Topiary Garden.
 
Added to again in the early 19th century, Levens is now the home of the Bagot Family.  It contains fine Jacobean furniture, paintings, one of the best examples in Europe of Spanish leather wall coverings, the earliest English patchwork, Wellingtoniana, clocks and miniatures.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Agoda here:
 
Haunted by a black dog and Lady in Pink
Levens Hall is reportedly haunted, and people have claimed to have seen the ghost of a black dog which inhabits the stairs and an amicable lady in pink.  Despite the alleged presence of these spirits the house has a nice lived-in feel with family photographs mixed in with the antiques.
 
Steam Traction Engines
A hobby of Robin and Hal Bagot was collecting and restoring steam powered engines.  This small collection includes a 1925 Foden Steam Wagon, a 1902 Locke Steam Car, a Fowler 1920 Showman’s Road Locomotive known as “Bertha”.
 
The engines are usually steamed on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays and a half-size Traction Engine called “Little Gem” provides rides around the estate.
 
Opening Dates, Times & Costs
Full details are at  Web:  Admission Details/ Levens Hall & Gardens
 
Disabled Access
Gardens and all other areas are accessible.
House is not disabled accessible.
For detailed information refer Admission Details link above  
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone   +44 (0)1539 560 321
Mail   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
The official Levens Hall website has excellent 'Getting There' information at  Web:   Finding Levens Hall
 
Google Map - Levens Hall and Gardens