Jo’s Monday walk : Lotherton Hall

I’m still in garden mode today.  That’s what inevitably comes from a visit to England.  At the suggestion of two good friends a jaunt out to a rather wonderful Edwardian country estate took place.  Celebrating 50 years of being open to the public, Lotherton Hall is a pleasant ride out of Leeds City Centre on the number 64 bus.  Amazing how quickly you can leave the city behind and be surrounded by rolling English countryside and pretty villages.  And wonder of wonders, the sun was beaming down!  Gardens first, in case the weather changed its mind.

The hall was once owned by the Gascoigne family and the formal gardens were designed between 1893 and 1914.  The rose terrace is overlooked by a remarkable bronze sculpture, ‘Peony Priest’.  I didn’t take as many photos as I normally would because I was in excellent company, and there was much catching up to do.  As well as that, a Vintage Fair had taken pride of place in the gardens.  Stalls with all manner of garments, glassware, china and books filled the lawns.  A little browsing and, to save the contents of our purses, you understand, it was into the Coach House for coffee (and a scone with jam and cream  🙂  ).

A tiny chapel in the grounds is dedicated to St. James and dates back to 1170.  It was restored during the First World War for the use of soldiers recuperating at Lotherton.  The serenity must have seemed a boon to them.

Elsewhere in the grounds a Beatles Tribute Band was tuning up.  Serenity destroyed, but there were lots of toe tappers.  Our visit to the hall was accompanied by the familiar strains of ‘It’s been a Hard Day’s Night’.  It was all I could do not to join in the chorus as I looked through the window.

The hall itself truly captured my imagination.  It brings to life another era, and tells the stories of the Gascoignes and the families that worked for them, in an ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ fashion.  Sir Alvary Gascoigne had a highly successful diplomatic career and this is reflected in the exquisite furniture and fabulous chinoiserie throughout the house.

I’m sure that many people would enjoy this step back in time, but the Lotherton Hall experience doesn’t end there.  An enormous range of birds, many of which I have never seen before, inhabit the aviary.  Moving from one compound to the next presented continuous surprises.  I’m not a fan of zoos in general, but there were lots of happy children and their parents in the park.

We’d done a lot of wandering and it was time for a substantial meal.  My friend’s suggestion of the ‘Crooked Billet’ pub, just 1.6 miles away, was a huge success.  The proof of the pudding is in the eating, isn’t it?  And surely Eton Mess can’t be fattening!

Their only son is getting married this Friday.  I wish him and his bride a wonderful life together, and hope they’ll be as happy as his Mum and Dad.

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More walks to share this week.  Thank you all for contributing and for reading.  Join me any time you like, here on Jo’s Monday walk.

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I’m stealing from a master this week.  I’m sure most of you will know the work of Lignum Draco :

Le Mont Saint-Michel

And, just over the water, Jude focuses on what she does best- a Cornish garden :

Trelissick Garden in Summer

While Margaret does her best to cheer us, with a dash of ‘je ne sais quoi’ :

Le Jardin Extraordinaire : a late summer treat

This lady never ceases to amaze me with the places she goes, and the resulting photographs :

A stroll around a stadium

While Lady Lee has the best holidays ever :

Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion)

A challenging walk from Cheryl, but well worth it, I know you’ll agree :

Hyangiram Hermitage Hike in Summer

While Irene takes us to some stunning heights in Hawaii :

Top of Diamond Head

And Teabee reminds me of the beauty of English heather :

Randonée/Hike to High Rigg, St. John’s in the Vale, Cumbria

Alice’s turn to take us through some locks this week  :

Lockport Flight of Five

Drake shares another snippet of his fascinating life :

Not bad but Baden-Wurt..Berg

And Janet demonstrates her fondness for animals :

Jo’s Monday Walk…the dog days of summer

If you’re just feeling lazy, Sandra has the answer :

Afternoon Tea at the Empress, Victoria, BC

But Cathy strides on with determination in every step :

(Camino day 33) Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga

Nothing left to do but wish you all a great week.  See you soon!

109 comments

  1. Lovely to read about your trip to Lotherton Hall and see all your beautiful photos Jo! I’m pretty sure this was a favourite place of my late Nanna (my mum’s mum). I believe they do art exhibitions here from time to time? Anyway there was a John Singer Sargent exhibition there years ago (in the 1980s I think) and my Nanna was taken there by her nephew’s wife to see it as amazingly she was painted by Singer Sargent as a little girl in 1895. It’s a really fascinating story that I must blog about some day – all to do with her grandfather, a self made man and art patron. I should hasten to add that the painting was sold over a 100 years ago out of the family! That’s another of my projects I’ve been trying to find it – it’s currently in private ownership in the USA and I now have some leads but it’s still not available for public viewing 😦 Anyway I must get to Lotherton Hall one day on one of my trips as it looks a lovely place! Thanks for sharing and take care xx 🙂

      1. Thanks Jo and yes it is a fascinating link to have – must try to get there as Lotherton Hall looks lovely! Also I’m hoping that one day the portrait resurfaces and can once again be viewed by the public. If you google “Expectancy” by John Singer you’ll find a lovely portrait of a little girl with dark curls and a billowing white lace dress sitting on a chair – that was my Nanna painted when she was 4! I have several framed prints of the portrait (a couple of which my daughters have) but alas have never seen the original. Lotherton Hall would be a lovely backdrop for artwork! 🙂 🙂

  2. This whole post was just glorious… each photo adding to the one before. The first photo though sure looks like a water buffalo and his farmer…? And then I love the next photo where you see the sculpture peeking out above the greenery, much like the farmers on their water buffaloes here in the rice paddies.

    The stone work had ME oohing and aahing, and the piano, well, that had Ben swooning…

    Wonderful post.

    Peta

    1. Thanks, Peta. We had so little time for exploring in the UK, and this place was such an unexpected gift. As you say, the water buffalo riding over the hedge is a wonderful touch. 🙂 🙂

  3. I am smiling with ‘A Hard Days Night’ humming in my mind now Jo. 🙂 A beautiful garden walk and Lotherton Hall is beyond impressive.
    Jo in reading the comment above I am very sorry to hear you are having ‘issues’ and that the blog may need to be put to sleep. I am sending positive energy and warmest hugs across the miles. I don’t want to be intrusive at all but do know that if I can be helpful in any way don’t hesitate to let me know. My email traveltalesoflife@gmail.com

    1. That’s so sweet of you, Sue, and you couldn’t be intrusive if you tried. Many of my problems are self inflicted, but I think I have a temporary respite. Thanks so much for your lovely offer. Sending a few hugs scooting back 🙂 🙂

    1. Otto, thank you so much! I’m having a few issues right now and the blog may have to be put to sleep, but people have been so kind and I have thoroughly enjoyed showing them the beauty I find in this world. 🙂 🙂

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