Hidden Gardens of Gawthorpe Hall

After a few months of hot summer, one can see the impression of the formal gardens at Gawthorpe Hall, in Padiham. Designed in the 1850s, but dug up in the 1940s to save on maintenance costs after the death of the second Lord Shuttleworth in the Battle of Britain, the otherwise plain lawn covers a once elaborate design. In previous dry summers, the ‘ghost’ gardens have been revealed and reported by the BBC, whose pictures are better than mine.

Although the front lawn is pleasant enough, it betrays a far grander design from a golden age of aristocratic domesticity and horticultural grandeur. Beneath the surface, there are hints and reminders of a lost wonder. It is unlikely that the National Trust and County Council who jointly administer the site will have the time, the resources and the will power to restore them.

Our corrupted world, scarred by the Curse and spoiled by the Fall, still contains reminders enough of its paradisical splendour and elysian beauty. Unlike these old gardens, for which I entertain little hope of refurbishment, this tired old earth will indeed be renewed and remade. We have so much to look forward to!

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5