...in which we visit one of Lakeland's great historic houses, Lowther Castle, to explore the story of the 'Yellow Earl': Hugh Lowther, 5th Earl of Lonsdale, one of the most extravagant members of the English aristocracy. In the company of Charlotte Fairbairn, seanchaidh of the Lowther family, we rewind in time to the early days of the Lowther dynasty – to the growth of the Whitehaven coalfields and the tyrannies of 'Wicked Jimmy' – to set the scene for Hugh's birth. Never intended to inherit the estate – 75,000 acres and wealth beyond dreams – the young Earl embarked upon a life of opulence and hedonism, spending vast sums and pretty much squandering the family fortune. As we trace the story of a remarkable life – of the Earl's love of animals; of his extra-marital activities; of his temporary banishment to the Arctic; of his hunts with the Kaiser – we ask what kind of man he was; why his grave is so modest; and... why yellow? Finally we consider the Earl's legacy – that stretches from boxing rules to Arsenal FC's away strip and the AA's livery.
The Ten Thousand Daffodils installation is running at Lowther Castle until 24 June.
To visit Lowther Castle and its exhibits see lowthercastle.org
You can find Charlotte at her website here.
Charlotte is giving a talk about the Yellow Earl at the Farmers’ Arms on 10 May.