A brief history of the castle

Spring cherry blossom at Sizergh Castle © ntpl/val corbett

Spring cherry blossom at Sizergh Castle

Sizergh has been associated with the Strickland family since 1239, when the heiress Elizabeth Deincourt married William de Stirkeland.The solar tower of the castle was a potent symbol of the Stricklands power during the Middle Ages, when they played a leading role in the wars with Scotland and France. Prominent as Catholic royalists throughout the 17th century, the Stricklands went into exile in 1688 with the court of James II at Saint-Germain in France. They returned to Sizergh by the early 18th Century as impoverished Jacobites, but thanks to the careful efforts of Winifred, Lady Strickland, they were able to afford a few baroque-style alterations to the house. Sir Gerald Strickland, later Lord Strickland of Sizergh (1861-1940) along with his second wife Margaret Hulton, installed the famous rock garden which was laid out in 1926-8. In 1931 the estate transferred to Lord Strickland's daughter Mary and her husband Henry Hornyold. They and their son Lt-Cdr Thomas Hornyold-Strickland gave the house to the National Trust in 1950.

Old dining room

 © Andreas Von Einsiedel NTPL

Dated 1563, this is the earliest of the Elizabethan panelled rooms and was described in 1569 as 'the chamber where thei dyne'. As such, it would be used by family and guests for informal meals, with seating for at least 20 people.

Inlaid chamber

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh © Andreas von Einsiedel

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh

The inlaid panelling is some of the finest ever made for an English house. All the main panels and freizes are  inlaid on a sumptiously large scale , with geometrical strapwork and foliated scrolls which use inlays of poplar and bog oak. This is a must see room!

Dining room

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh © Andreas Von Einsiedel

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh

This is on the 1st floor of the tower that was built in the 14th century. The oak panelling is mainly Elizabethan, and the portraits hung there are of the royal house of Stuart from the families exile  with the Stewart court in France at Saint- Germaine

Banqueting hall

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh © Andreas Von Einsiedel NTPL

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh

In medieval times, the second floor of the tower was the solar tower. The western half now known as the banqueting hall, is lit by a 14th-century three light window overlooking the courtyard and has a mid-16th-century fireplace and adze-hewn oak boards laid on massive diagonally laid joists.

Queens room

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh © Andreas Von Einsiedel NTPL

The inlaid chamber at Sizergh

This 16th-century chamber would have been a place of retreat, the more exclusive in that there was no connecting door between it and the dining room until the mid-18th century.

The room takes its name from Queen Elizabeth's coat of arms, carved in 1569 as the centerpiece of the overmantel.