Creating the Picturesque at Sizergh

Two visitors experiencing the new exhibition room at Sizergh Castle, Cumbria

The picturesque movement in the late 1700’s was a defining moment for how landscape was understood and interpreted. It changed the lakes and mountains of Cumberland and Westmorland from a wild and untameable place, to one of natural beauty and sublime inspiration.

Thomas West, a celebrated Jesuit priest, helped to lay the foundations for the picturesque pioneers who came after him. He had strong links with the Catholic Strickland family, and spent his later years here at Sizergh. Find out more about him and the picturesque here in the exhibition and around the house.

Thomas West partly wrote his book ‘A guide to the Lakes’ during his time here at Sizergh. His writings, and those of his contemporaries, opened the Lakes to a new audience, a legacy felt to this day in the Lake District National Park.