The house was expanded in 1694 by Col. James Grahme, former Privy Purse to James II. Rooms feature the family collections of paintings and memorabilia, including the earliest known example of English patchwork. Among the various items on display are Beau Brummel's snuff box, paintings by Van Dyck, Brueghel the Elder, and Rubens, and items associated with the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson.
Levens Hall is home to several resident ghosts; a Grey Lady is known to appear in front of cars on the driveway, a woman in a print dres and cap appears before children, and a small black dog wanders the hall.
THE TOPIARY GARDENS
The gardens were laid out in 1694 by Guillaume Beaumont, who trained under Andre Le Notre at Versailles. Beaumont had only recently finished laying out gardens at Hampton Court Palace. Very little has been altered since that time, which is all to the good, as Beaumont created a wonderful experience with his imaginative use of topiary and garden walks. The gardens also feature the earliest known example in England of a "ha-ha", or sunken ditch.
The topiary of clipped yew and box hedges is underplanted with bedding plants in spring and summer, making for excellent colour. A rose garden, herbaceous borders, and a nuttery complete a most enjoyable garden. The most recent addition at Levens Hall is a fountain, approached by an avenue of pleached lime planted to celebrate 300 years of the gardens. Best viewed in: summer.
England, LA8 0PD
Attraction Type: Historic House
Location: 5 m S Kendal, on A6
Website: Levens Hall
Phone: 01539 560 321
Fax: 01539 560 669
Historic Houses Association
OS: SD495 851
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