Great Shoots at Lowther Famously the shooting season begins with the first grouse shoots on ‘The Glorious Twelfth of August’.

In the heyday of the great ‘ yellow’ 5 th Earl of Lonsdale (1857-1944) the Lowther Estates provided, on the north Westmorland fells, numerous lavishly organised shooting parties.

Early in the month Lord and Lady Lonsdale took up residence at Lowther Castle in order to prepare for the event with the precision of an army manoeuvre.

The household staff was expanded from the ‘normal.’ 50 to over 80 which with the ladies maids, valets and chauffeurs accompanying the 30 or so guests meant the household numbered up to 150.

Outside the 11 head game keepers and under keepers were turned out in new suits of Lowther Tweed and each man carried a laid-down inventory of everything from string to cartridge extractors.

Meanwhile, from first light armies of beaters would driving the outlying coverts until the area to be shot was literally seething with birds.

To ensure a good personal bag Lordy himself used three rifles replenished by two loaders along with a personal attendant required to light his cigars and top-up his hip flask.

The Yellow Earl, Douglas Sutherland, Cassell, 1965.