A charity fundraising ceramic installation

24 April - 24 June 2023, lowther castle & gardens

“When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
...Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”

On 24th April this year, the curtain will be raised on a stunning art installation set in the gardens of Lowther Castle. Ten Thousand hand-made ceramic daffodils will nod gently in the Lowther breezes, pathways carved between them so visitors can enjoy them up close.

Ten Thousand Daffodils is a charity fundraising project and the brainchild of locally based potter, Helen Ratcliffe. The aim of the project is to raise money for six amazing charities while creating a beautiful art installation in its own right.
The project will also bring the local community together, with local businesses, schools and volunteers behind the project aiming to build, fire, glaze and plant 10,000 ceramic daffodils as described in the famous poem by William Wordsworth.

Lowther Castle is the perfect setting for this ground-breaking event. It has long associations with the Wordsworth family (the poet’s father was the Lowther land agent, the poet himself a great friend of the 1st Earl of Lonsdale who built the castle); the colour yellow likewise is closely associated with the castle and the Lowther family; while in 2008, the venue was the setting for a world record beating daffodil planting.

Under Helen’s guiding hand, a brilliant team has been working hard behind the scenes to organise and manage production, fund raising, and community engagement.

Business sponsors The Quiet Site, Ullswater Way Cottages, I J Curry (builders) and AW Jenkinson are among our first partners. 

Suppliers of our materials and equipment – either free or at low cost – include Gladstone Engineering, Cumbria 3D Printing, Northern Kilns, CabinKraft, Portable Cabins Ltd and Valentine Clay.

Since the project was first announced in late October, over 300 volunteers have come forward to help with the production of the daffodils. 

Production is now well underway with regular groups of volunteers, schools and community groups joining us at Daffodil HQ at Lowther Barn. 

Find out how you can be involved!

In addition to the 10,000 individually hand-made daffodils, ten large daffodils will also feature in the installation. These will be designed by a talented group of famous potters and potteries, as well as by one or two other prominent individuals with links to Cumbria and to the event’s setting, Lowther Castle. These pieces will be auctioned through a 24 hour online event in late June 2023. More details to follow. 

All 10,000 individually handmade daffodils will be sold to raise much needed funds for our six partner charities.

Discover how you can become part of this inspiring project and enjoy a unique artistic endeavour in perpetuity.

art with a heart

Find out more about the fantastic small charities we are supporting.

the potter behind the project

Architect of the Ten Thousand Daffodils project, Helen Ratcliffe is primarily a hobby potter but also has connections to all the beneficiary charities supported by this endeavour.

Helen began her ‘potter’s journey’ just four years ago under the expert tutelage of life long ceramicists Mary Chapplehow and Jim Robison.

Helen is also trustee of one of the beneficiary charities, Another Way.

latest news, project updates & more