‘Ghost garden’ at historic hall

Visitors have stumbled upon a “ghost garden” which appeared in the grounds of a historic Padiham hall.

Eagle-eyed people spotted mysterious patterns forming on the front lawn of the town’s 16th Century Gawthorpe Hall following the heatwave in July.

Gawthorpe Hall with its ghost garden that has appeared due to the recent hot weather.

Gawthorpe Hall with its ghost garden that has appeared due to the recent hot weather.

The marks, which formed intricate diamond shapes in the grass, have caused a stir at the Elizabethan manor.

Gawthorpe staff said the lines were vestiges of a historic garden planted in during Victorian times. Rachel Pollitt, museum manager, said: “We have had a lot of visitors asking us about what it is.

“It looks like a crop circle.

“The garden was created during the 1860s. The lines are the pathways of the garden where people would have walked all those years ago.”

The garden was created in the 1860s by Charles Barry who was the designer of the iconic Houses of Parliament in London.

The “south parterre” garden, made up of small sections of bedding plants and flowers, imitated earlier Tudor gardens from the hall’s earlier history.

Museum staff say the ornate garden was created to provide employment for hard-up local workers during the Cotton Famine which struck East Lancashire during the American Civil War.

Mrs Pollitt said: “There was no cotton coming from the States and no work in the mills. But the well-to-do came together to offer alternative work to people in Padiham who built the garden.”

The gardens were removed around half a century ago but the north parterre remains intact.