Leeds

Lotherton Hall Gardens

The Edwardian gardens at Lotherton Hall cover eight acres and were designed as a series of enclosed gardens by Mrs Gwendolen Gascoigne between 1893 and 1914. The Terrace Gardens near the house were planted with roses (we visited at the wrong time of year to see them in bloom) and are also the sight of this impressive bronze statue of Sho Haku, nicknamed the Peony Priest. He was a Japanese holy man known for his love of peonies.

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Lotherton Hall

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).

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Lotherton Chapel

Lotherton Chapel is a small building dating to the 12th century that is next to Lotherton Hall in Leeds. It fell into disrepair until 1913 when Colonel Gascoigne, the then owner of the Hall, had it refurbished to be used as a family chapel, though it is still Church of England property.

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Lotherton: Wildlife World

Lotherton is an Edwardian house and country estate with gardens, extensive grounds, a deer park and a small zoo. When I first visited back in 2013 you couldn’t take photos inside the house and Wildlife World was originally a bird garden. Much has changed since then however and I’m splitting these posts into the zoo, the house, the chapel and the gardens, starting with our first destination of the zoo. There is still more of a concentration on birds here than on the animals they’ve since acquired and one of my favourites was this lovely Edward’s pheasant, named after a former director of the Natural History Museum in Paris.

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