Even in the drizzle in jeans and boots, you can almost catch hold of how it would feel to wander the gardens in a satin dress after dinner, perhaps sneaking away from the claret and crystal for a gulp of cool evening.
Who would you meet in the summer house? Shut your eyes and smell the heavy perfume in the rise garden.
But there are no more nights when music and clinking glasses float across lawns and over terraces. No more efficient fuss of staff behind a grand home. Only shadows remain.
In 1947 the fairy tale castle at Lowther was dismantled and more or less every stick or thread sold. Even the roof was removed. Winter’s skeleton leaf in stone was left brittle.
Ever since I knew of the place as a little girl I ached a little for the marble pillars and whispered conversations that had passed. But like Manderley, I could only visit in my dreams.
But now the current generation wants to make the place proud again, more modestly though.
Today we were there to see what they’d done and to get a sense of the history because of Boy Three’s friend Little C. She goes to Lowther school hundreds of miles from here, but founded by some of the same hands that once opened the huge door of this castle. So she came to find out more.