Whitehaven Castle

Whitehaven Castle is a Grade II listed building in Whitehaven, Cumbria. It was built in 1769 by Sir John Lowther as his private residence, on the site of an earlier mansion. The Lowthers continued to own the site up to the 1920s when it was turned into a hospital. The hospital closed in the 1980s and the castle controversially passed into the hands of a developer.

The castle is a Georgian-style building with a symmetrical facade. It has three storeys and a basement. The main entrance is on the south side of the building and is flanked by two Doric columns. The interior of the castle is decorated with Georgian-style plasterwork and fireplaces.

The castle has a long and varied history. It has been used as a private residence, a hospital, and a geriatric hospital. It is now a residential development, with apartments and townhouses.

The Early Years

The first building on the site of Whitehaven Castle was a mansion called Flatt Hall. This was built in the early 17th century. Flatt Hall was a large and luxurious house, with a number of reception rooms, bedrooms, and servants' quarters. It was also surrounded by extensive gardens and grounds.

In 1769, Sir John Lowther's grandson, Sir James Lowther, decided to demolish Flatt Hall and build a new castle in its place. The new castle was designed by the architect John Carr and was built in the Georgian style. It was named Whitehaven Castle, after the town in which it was located.

The Hospital Years

Whitehaven Castle was used as a private residence for just over 50 years. In 1924, it was sold to Herbert Wilson Walker, a local industrialist. Walker donated the castle to the people of West Cumberland, along with £20,000 to convert it into a hospital.

The castle served as a hospital for over 40 years. It was used to treat a variety of patients, including those with infectious diseases, mental health problems, and physical injuries. In 1964, a new hospital was built in Whitehaven and Whitehaven Castle was closed.

The Residential Development

After the castle closed, it stood empty for several years. In the 1980s, it was converted into a residential development. The castle was divided into apartments and townhouses, which were sold to private buyers.