Brodsworth Hall & Gardens
DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE
When in the 1860s Charles Thellusson built a mansion on his 8,000-acre South Yorkshire estate, northwest of Doncaster, the gardens were laid out in a ‘high Victorian’ formal Italianate style to complement the architecture of the house. In recent years they’ve been restored to their full glory, and there’s masses to see here. Clipped box, yew and holly were established to form domed, pyramidal and cubic shapes, hedges and edges, and a marble fountain and a wealth of Italian statues were installed. Flights of steps leading from the terrace down to the extensive lawn were designed with extreme formality, with shallow urns at the head and marble greyhounds at the foot – though it was for horseracing and yachting that the wealthy Thellusson family was best known. Symmetrical flower beds, in keeping with the overall geometry of the design, are cut out of the turf – look out for the three-tier Italian marble dolphin fountain, like an elaborate cake-stand. In February and March, you can enjoy the breathtaking sight of some 500,000 snowdrops and over 30 varieties of daffodil, many of them growing naturally in long grass. In April the floral tapestry changes as up to 5,000 tulips take over, and in summer the rose garden and wild flower meadows attract the most attention. The woodland walks become more and more vibrant as autumn progresses, and then in winter the original garden design, with its sculptural topiary, becomes all-important. In contrast to all this primping in the gardens, Brodsworth Hall has been left as it was when the last owner died in 1988 – a state of genteel neglect, complete with family clutter. It plays host to many special events throughout the year, and during the summer months on a Sunday often has live music playing in the gardens.
Facilities – at a glance
- Parking onsite
- Most areas accessible by wheelchair (assistance recommended), some steps, steep slopes
- Facilities: Ramps, lifts, shuttle service from car parks, wheelchair loan, handrails, induction loop
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: House open Apr-Sep check website for details (guided tours of house 11am and 12pm, general admission from 1pm onwards). Gardens open all year, times vary see website. Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan (last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Also in the Area
About The area
Discover South Yorkshire
Traditionally a steel and coal producing centre, the decline of both industries in South Yorkshire has been replaced to some extent by tourism based around the area’s beautiful Pennine countryside. The county claims part of the Peak District National Park, whose hills and dales provide welcome space for the large urban populations.
South Yorkshire is made up of four districts: City of Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. Barnsley is the county’s administrative centre, located on one of Britain’s richest coalfields. The town has an entry in the Domesday Book and was built on land belonging to the priories of Pontefract and Monk Bretton. Doncaster, originally a Roman station, is set on the River Don. It is known particularly for its racecourse, best known for the St Leger in September. In 1875, Charles Dickens watched it from the 18th century Italianate grandstand at the Town Moor racecourse. The Lincolnshire Handicap is held in March. The town also boasts fine Georgian architecture and Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery.
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