The Sizergh Stricklands are perhaps the more famous line complete with a castle in Westmoreland.

Sam Strickland visited Sizergh early in 1998 and kindly lent the following 2 pictures - the first is of the Strickland Arms Public house (located just outside the castle gates), the second of the castle itself.

The paragraphs below are taken from a booklet published by The National Trust in 1985, titled "Sizergh Castle, Cumbria". The remainder of the booklet provides details about the Castle and gardens.


Sizergh in common with many other names in Cumbria, originates from the Scandinavian occupation in the 9th or 10th centuries. Anciently spelt Sigaritherge, Siritherde, Sigrittserh and in other variations, the first element represents a personal name, Sigarith, being often met with as the feminine form of Sigred, Sigar or Siric. The second element erg denotes a summer pastor or dairy farm.

With a large gift of other lands Sizergh was granted by Henry 2nd about 1170 to 1180 to Gervase Deincourt, a cadet of the great baronial family of that name settled at Blankney in Lincolnshire. It is situated within the parish of Helsington, but as a separate independent manor. These possessions continued in the Deincourt family for several generations until Elizabeth, great granddaughter of Gervase, became on the death of her brother the sole heiress, and conveyed them all in marriage to her husband, Sir William Strickland. This occurred in 1239, and from that date Sizergh became continuously the main residence of the Strickland family.

In an earlier times they were known as "de Castlecarrock", and there is little doubt but that they were descended from the Norman Family of Vaux (or de Vallibus), and therefore allied to the family of Gilles, son of Bueth, the original native chieftain holder of Gilsland, near Carlisle. In 1179 Walter de Castlecarrock married, moved to the manor of Great Strickland in north Westmorland acquired through his wife, and assumed the name "de Strikeland". The name Stercaland was common to several parts of Westmorland, meaning the pasture land of young cattle. This Walter was later knighted and was great grandfather to the William Strickland mentioned above.

The Stricklands of Sizergh

The Sizergh muniments present a very full account of the Stricklands, and the following is a brief extract showing their history from the time of their marriage with the Deincourt heiress.

1258. The family were serving their country and Parliament in almost every generation from the first known return of 1258 until close of the 17th century; and still later the last in the male line was in this present century the first of his family to be elevated from the House of Commons in the Lords.

1306. Sir Water Strickland, sixth in descent from his de Castlecarrock progenitor, was made a Knight of the Bath for his services in Border warfare in 1306, on the occasion of the granting of knighthood to Edward, Prince of Wales - afterwards Edward 2nd. The following year he had a charter of free warren in all his lands in Westmoreland, and in 1332 he had licence to enclose his demesne lands at Sizergh forever and to make a park there. Though now disparked, Sizergh remained stocked with deer down to the 18th century. Sir Walter's only sister, Joan, had a grant from him of lands in Natland on her marriage to Robert de Wessington, the ancestor of the Washington's of Warton, in Lancashire, and from whom descended George Washington, the first President of the USA. This deed is amongst the early muniments at Sizergh.

1361. Like his father, Sir Thomas, for his zeal in the service of the Crown chiefly in Ireland and in France, had a further licence from the King in 1361 to impark his woods in Helsington, Levens and Hackthorpe containing 300 acres. In this generation came the first alliance with the owners of the Kendal Castle, when Katherine, only daughter of Sir Thomas, married John, the eldest son of Thomas de Ros of Kendal Castle. He died in his father's lifetime, and their daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir William del Parre, and eventually brought to that Family the marquis fee of the barony of Kendal, including the Castle.

1415. Following Sir Water, son of the last Sir Thomas, came another Sir Thomas who seems to have spent his whole life either attending to his Parliamentary duties or in his country's wars. At the battle of Agincourt he had the honour of bearing the banner of St George, the premier banner of England.

1448. During the Wars of the Roses the family were Yorkists, and on the accession of Edward IV Water Strickland, son of the last Sir Thomas, obtain a grant of general pardon, indemnifying him for any offences which he might have committed in his loyalty to that House. Earlier in 1448, he had entered into one of those curious and interesting indentures of military service with the Earl of Salisbury, whereby he engaged himself to serve the Earl, saving his legiance to the King, at home or overseas with a fully armed and accoutred body of men. His fee was to come out of the profits of the lordship of Penrith; and he undertook to surrender for reasonable reward any prisoner of standing, as also a third of any booty captured. It is believed that this document at Sizergh with the corresponding half of the bipartite indenture in the Public Record Office form the only known complete agreement surviving. With a few such undertakings in support of a powerful baron it is not surprising to find such a title as a "Warwick the kingmaker".

1464. Sir Thomas, in the next generation, renewed the alliance with the family of Parre by marrying Agnes, daughter of Sir Thomas Parre. The latter was grandfather of Katherine whose third and most important marriage to Henry VIII soon caused the Parres of Kendal to forsake their ancient heritage for the more exciting life of the Court.

1460 - 1569. There followed successively Sir Thomas, Knight of the Bath; Sir Water who married Katherine Neville, of Thornton Briggs, daughter of a cadet branch of the great baronial family living at Raby, and whose tomb is the earliest now known of the Stricklands in the Strickland Chapel in Kendal Church; and Walter whose muster roll book at Sizergh shows that when summoned for duty in defence of the border he rode out with a fully equipped company 290 strong, by far the largest number of anyone in the county. Pitch was in the lifetime of this will turn and of his widow Alice, nee Tempest, that all the Elizabethan part of the house was built, and the panelling installed.

1643. Next, following a Sir Thomas, Knight of the Bath, came Sir Robert, a zealous royalist who was implicated in the Yorkshire engagement. During his life and that of his son, Sir Thomas, the family fortunes were most grievously reduced through compositions and sequestrations for recusancy. This son, Sir Thomas, Knight banneret, was keeper of the privy purse to the Queen in the reign of Charles 2; and his second wife, Winifred Trentham, as a member of the household of Mary of Modena, consort of James 2, was present at the birth of the Prince of Wales in 1688. After the abdication in that year, refusing to desert the Royal Family, Sir Thomas and his wife accompanied them into a voluntary exile for the rest of their lives at the Court at St. Germain. Here Lady Strickland was governess to the young Prince, and a collection at Sizergh of Stuart personal relics and also a set of portraits of the Royal Family, given to her by the Queen, are a reminder of those difficult times.

1700 - 1950. Their son Water was allowed to return to England where he lived quietly at the much impoverished family home, and became the progenitor of two parallel lines, both of whom have left their mark on Sizergh. Thomas Peter was his eldest son, and his son Charles brought for a time renewed prosperity to the family by his marriage to a wealthy heiress from Lancashire, Cecilia Towneley. Through her mother she brought in the estates of Standish, near Wigan, and of Borwick near Carnforth; but both estates have now gone out of the family's possession. Cecilia lived in an age where change for the sake of change was an obsession, and it was during her lifetime that many alterations were made that one cannot but now deplore. In 1938 the last surviving male descendant of the above Thomas Peter Strickland died. He had, however, a younger brother, Jarrard, who was succeeded in this branch line by a second Jarrard. The latter, after his cousins death, married as her second husband Cecilia Towneley, and lived at Sizergh until his stepson came of age. From this Jarrard descended the late Sir Gerald Strickland, G.C.M.G. (afterwards first and last baron Strickland of Sizergh), who in 1896, finding the estate once more in financial difficulties and wishful to preserve it in the Strickland family, relieved his cousin of his liabilities in exchange for the latter's further interest in the estate. Sir Gerald, in a varied life as Colonial administrator, Dominion governor, Member of Parliament in England, Prime Minister in Malta, and finally a member of the House of Lords, married as his first wife Lady Edeline Sackville, daughter of the 7th Earl de la Warr. Having no surviving male issue, he settled the estate in 1931 subject to the existing liabilities upon his eldest daughter and her husband, Mr Henry and the Honourable Mrs Hornyold-Strickland. They, with their son Lieutenant-Commander T. Hornyold-Strickland, made a gift in 1950 of the estate, including the house and contents, and other rejoining lands, to the National Trust. Mrs T Hornyold-Strickland and one of her six children still live at Sizergh.

email to home English Norris South African German Dutch Polish

Last updated on 22 Sep 2013.