Another day of fine weather greeted 48 u3a Todmorden ‘Let’s Go’ members on their trip to Levens Hall in Cumbria. The hall, home of the Bagot family, contains the world famous topiary gardens. Land was given to the original owner, Norman Yeland, for fishing and hunting in 1170. Building started about 1250 and the house was enlarged and improved around 1570 when the wealthy landowning Bellingham family took over.
It’s the finest Elizabethan house in Cumbria, and as well as its oak-panelling, it’s also well-known for the Cordova leather wall coverings and the collection of early furniture and paintings. Sadly, though, none of the u3a members saw any of the three ghosts reputed to haunt the hall.
Members wandered around the fascinating gardens, planted originally in the late 17th century, and were able to watch some of the topiary being carefully trimmed. The group then travelled on to the market town of Kendal.
The next trip will be to Lancaster and the refurbished Midland Hotel in Morecambe, in late November.
report by Ernie Rogan / photo by Philip Willis