Holker Hall & Gardens
Welcome to Holker, a name given by the Norse invaders meaning ‘A rise in marshy ground’. For centuries, people have felt drawn here; the love of those who have lived here emanates from the architecture, the grounds and the landscape they created around it. Nestled between the hills of the Lake District and the sea marshes it rises from, Holker is, above all, a family home.
The team here look forward to welcoming you.
– Lucy Cavendish & Tor McLaren –
Peace, romance and adventure lie at the heart of the 23 acres of Formal and Woodland Gardens. Our benign climate has nurtured the endeavors of our predecessors; their bold and adventurous planting over the centuries still stands, huge, and in some cases, ancient. Today, in keeping with the ever-changing nature of gardens and in collaboration with our Head Gardener, Matthew, and his team, rare collections are developed, landscaping opportunities are sought, and meticulous planting schemes aim to constantly surprise our regular visitors. The Gardens offer a spectacular juxtaposition of whimsy, structure, drama and tranquil beauty.
Nestled between the hills of the Lake District and the sea marshes it rises from, Holker is, above all, a family home .
The original House was built in the early 17th Century. After it was almost destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1871, William Cavendish and his daughter, Louisa, recruited the most eminent architects and designers of their time, to rebuild Holker in the very latest style. Neo-Elizabethan in its architecture, with the imposing tower and soaring cupola, Holker was constructed from the finest materials, many from the Estate itself, by church Architects Paley & Austin of Lancaster. Louisa’s impeccable eye and good taste are responsible for the interiors you see today. The majority of the paintings and much of the furniture was brought to Holker from Chatsworth House, the family residence in Derbyshire. The decoration was considered modern for its time, but elements pay tribute to the interiors lost in the fire.