Lotherton Hall and its estate was presented to the City of Leeds in 1968 having previously been the family home of the Gascoignes. They bought the hall in 1825. The Gascoigne’s money largely came from coal mining and farming and passed through many generations until Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne decided to give their home up as a museum, though they still resided in a specially designed flat in the house until their deaths in 1970 and 1977. (Their son Douglas died in the Second World War, leaving no more heirs).
The house contains almost 3,000 works of art, though not all can be displayed at the same time. It also doesn’t fully represent the Gascoigne family’s belongings – they wanted the City of Leeds to display pieces the city already owned but didn’t have room to display in other museums.
The self-guided tour of the house begins downstairs in the inner hall and then you make your way around a well laid out journey through the lower and upper rooms. Some of my favourite items on display included this French statue by Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse dating from 1887. Made from bronze and elephant ivory it is called La Liseuse (The Reader).
This impressive looking camel statue was a tomb figure that would have been buried with the dead to provide them with a camel in the afterlife. Dating from 700-750 its Chinese Tang Dynasty and was presented to Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne when Sir Alvary’s time as United Kingdom Political Representative in Japan ended in 1951.
I also liked this lovely harp that belonged to the Gascoignes, built in 1846.
Full of interesting pieces you can find more photos here.