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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Throwback Thursday: 1-11 Regent Street, Nottingham

Six terraced houses, now offices, these were largely designed by Nottingham architect Thomas Chambers Hine in the Flemish Renaissance style. Built around 1848-1851 they are a striking set of buildings and are Grade II listed. Hines himself died at 25 Regent Street in 1899.

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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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Goose Fair 2022, Nottingham

Back after a COVID break, Goose Fair is on at the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham for 10 days, much longer than usual, and ends on Sunday 9 October. As I often do when the fair is on I went for a wander around to take photos (and buy some candy floss and brandy snaps). There are a bunch of new rides this year that looked quite impressive though I didn’t partake myself – I’ve never been that much of a fan and since being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease anything that may throw me around is definitely to be avoided!

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St George’s Church, Stamford

Back in May after visiting Burghley House we took a small detour to nearby Stamford before heading home. A lovely looking market town, the purpose of our trip was to visit St George’s Church where I had learnt through a great deal of family tree research during our COVID lockdowns that a relative who fought at the Battle of Waterloo was buried. We did in fact easily find his gravestone though it is so worn by age – he died in 1846 – that photographs aren’t quite as clear as seeing it in person.

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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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Special Operations Executive Memorial, London

The Special Operations Executive, headquartered in London, was formed in the Second World War to secretly recruit men and women who would perform acts of sabotage in countries occupied by Germany. The lengths that these brave men and women went through is truly remarkable and I’ve read a fair few biographies of some of the women recruited – I’d recommend A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell.

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Throwback Thursday: The Britannia Panoptican Music Hall, Glasgow

The Britannia Panopticon in Glasgow began life as the Britannic Music Hall in the late 1850s. Items on the bill included dancing girls and comic and ballad singers and it was also a popular haunt for prostitutes. A Mr and Mrs Rossborough took over to clean things up and revamped the interior and increased the range of acts.

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Burghley House: The Sculpture Garden

Covering 12 acres that was reclaimed from scrub woodland, the sculpture garden at Burghley House contains a vast array of contemporary sculptures, some of which are considerably stranger than others! Some of my favourites are highlighted below.

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