It is hard to visualise that beneath the tranquil parkland of Lathom lie the remains of a huge medieval palace fortress, once the home of Thomas Stanley, the first Earl of Derby and his wife, Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII.
Later, it was twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces during the civil war of the 1640s, after which it was slighted.
In the mid 18th century a Palladian mansion designed by Giacomo Leoni was built on top of the castle ruins.
In the 20th century Lathom Park was used as a remount depot for horses destined for the front. During this time the mansion played host to army officers from the remount depot.
The main block of the mansion was demolished in 1925 followed by the east wing in the 1960s. The only remaining part of the 18th century building is the west wing, the former stable block. This is currently in the process of being redeveloped into apartments.
What projects are taking place at Lathom?
Excavations are underway to establish the form and function of parts of the former castle from the archaeological remains.
We have historians researching the lives and times of those who lived and died at Lathom.
A dedicated team care for the grounds and take an active role in making them a haven for wildlife.
We are also currently looking for volunteers to help with the restoration of the ford on the River Tawd at Lathom.
If you think you could help, please get in touch!
Fancy joining our team of archaeologists on one of our projects?
Be part of the team that are helping to uncover some of Lathom's long lost secrets.
During the archaeology events you can join us for a day or two or a week or two.
Regulars will see the archaeology reveal a little more of the history of the castle each day, gradually putting together the jigsaw pieces to form a picture that tells Lathom's fascinating story.
This is is an opportunity to take part in ground breaking research on one of the finest archaeological sites in northern England.
See our events page for details of our next archaeology event on site.
Whether you are an individual, group or educational institution, if you have an interest in the people and the place that helped shape our history, get involved and be part of the team uncovering and recording that history that has become such an important part of our heritage.