The Cage

A tower stands on a hill to the east of the approach road to the manor house at Lyme Park in Cheshire. Built around 1580 as a hunting lodge, the ladies of the British nobility could admire the prowess of their menfolk as they hunted stag on the slopes below. If all went well then the tower would become a banqueting hall and feasting and drinking would carry on well into the night. As time went by, the tower was used by the game keeper as his residence and a room in the tower was strengthened and used for locking up poachers that had been caught trying to steal the hare and deer that were both common in the park and said to be of exceptional quality and flavour. Three of the four sides of The Cage have sundials – the north facing side is the exception as it would never receive enough light for it to be effective. All the sundials have inscriptions. The south face reads: “Remember now the creator in the days of thy youth”. The east and west faces are written in Latin and both read: “Live to-day. To-morrow will be less seasonable." During World War II it was used to house young evacuees from Manchester. By all accounts they were made welcome by Thomas Legh, 2nd Baron Newton, who at the ripe old age of 82 gave the estate and the surrounding land including the tower to his son Richard who was to be its final owner. The tower was used by the Home Guard as a vantage point during and shortly after the war, which was the last known civilian use of the tower that now stands proud but unused above the surrounding landscape.