A sense of having visited a complete castle is one of the most satisfying aspects of visiting Sizergh—nothing’s been torn down (other than some stairs), there are gardens and all the outbuildings you expect of a place that’s been home to a family for over 750 years. When we completed the garden tours, we headed inside this impressive castle in the company of a tour guide. He regaled us with stories of the history of the Strickland family as well as some of the furnishings and paneling that can be found inside.
Sizergh started as a solar tower—a typical castle tower, square, but far larger than you would find on a regular castle (it’s the tallest part of what your see above). On one side, an entry was added that allowed visitors to enter up a grand staircase into a massive first story (what you see in the middle). Wings were added on either side, one for the kitchens and servants quarters and the other for long galleries. The stairs were eventually removed and rebuilt on the inside so that horse-drawn carriages could enter the horse, drop off the guests, and exit out the other side. All that’s been closed up again so there’s a set of impressive doors in which to enter.
Once inside, you know when you’re in the oldest part versus the Elizabethan and Victorian-era sections. The house is filled with treasures—including the original paneling from one room that had been sold off for display in the Victoria and Albert Museum and has since been returned and reinstalled. If walls could talk! It also features a number of pieces made by Gillows Furniture.
When we finally took our leave of this place, we had to pass by some more plantings—such a pleasant way to go! Next up: A castle for kids.