Levens Hall, which is approximately six miles south of Kendal off the A590/A6 in Cumbria, is a beautiful Elizabethan mansion which was built around a 13th century pele tower. The pele tower was built by the de Redman family of Yealand Redmayne in 1350. Levens Hall has been owned by the de Redman, Bellingham, Grahme, Howard and Bagot families, and as they were all related, it could be said that this magnificent home has remained in the family for over 700 years.
Levens Hall gardens, which was designed by Monsieur Guillaume Beaumont who also designed Hampton Court’s gardens and who spent the last 40 years of his life working at Levens, is famous for it’s yew topiary. However, this garden also includes a small orchard of apple trees and medlars, a nuttery and herb garden, a bowling green, a rose garden, herbaceous borders and seasonal bedding. This garden is a grade I listed garden dating from 1694.
Guillaume Beaumont also restructured the original medieval deer park around 1700 as a recreational park. This park is very interesting to garden historians as they mark a significant change in the trend of a love of formality to an appreciation of nature in all it’s moods. This is something that William Wordsworth, one of the Lake Poets, also appreciated. In this park you will find Norwegian black fallow deer, sheep and black and white Bagot goats, which are a rare breed and apparently brought to this country at the time of Richard the Lion Heart.
The Bellingham Buttery serves a variety of hot and cold dishes as well as a vegetarian option, puddings and snacks. All their food is locally sourced, home cooked and prepared freshly every day in their kitchens. Also on sale is their own Morocco Ale, which is brewed to an original 18th century recipe. Levens Hall also has it’s own gift shop, play area for children under 12 years, picnic tables for families and a collection of steam vehicles. However, before planning your day out, it would be advisable to check the Levens Hall’s official website for opening times, dates and admission fees.