Lowther Castle

Plans were announced in 2003 for the restoration of Lowther Castle, in 1957 reduced to a shell. The castle was built between 1806 and 1814 on the site of Lowther Hall, home in the eighteenth century of Sir James Lowther, first Earl of Lonsdale.

Following his death, it became celebrated for its haunt by this classic member of the ‘wicked gentry’. Jeremiah Sullivan in 1857 wrote:

Westmorland never produced a more famous boggle – infamous as a man, famous as a boggle – than Jemmy Lowther, well known … as the ‘bad Lord Lonsdale.’ This notorious character … became a still greater terror to the country after death, than he had been even during his life. He was with difficulty buried; and whilst the clergyman was praying over him, he very nearly knocked the reverend gentleman from his desk. When placed in the grave, the power of creating alarm was not interred with his bones. There were disturbances in the Hall, noises in the stables; neither men nor animals were suffered to rest. Jemmy’s ‘coach and six’ is still remembered and spoken of, from which we are probably to understand that he produced a noise, as boggles frequently do, like the equipage of this description. There is nothing said of his shape, or whether he appeared at all; but it is certain he made himself audible. The Hall became almost uninhabitable, and out of doors there was constant danger of meeting the miscreant ghost


It seems to have been thought, says Sullivan, that the only help to be had in such cases was that of a Catholic priest, one reason being that the exorcism had to be in Latin. One was brought in, but Jemmy held out against him for a long time and when he finally capitulated would only agree to go for a year and a day to the Red Sea (to which ghosts were traditionally banished). These terms were not accepted, and the priest read on and on until he finally mastered the stubborn ghost ‘and laid him under a large rock called Wallow Crag, and laid him for ever’. (Wallow Crag is WALLA CRAG, Cumberland.)



Haunted England : The Penguin Book of Ghosts – Written by Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson
Copyright © Jennifer Westwood and Jacqueline Simpson 2005, 2008