Park and Gardens
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 Park and Gardens


Explore the park and gardens of Temple Newsam to discover a stunning 18th century landscape and intimate formal gardens full of scent and colour. 

The open grassland, woodlands, views and vistas are much admired as they were designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown for the 9th Viscount Irwin in the 1760’s. Although Brown’s plan was not fully followed his concept of a serene picturesque landscape is still seen.

Click to expandRhododendron Walk and Lakeside Gardens

​By the 1850’s gently meandering paths bordered by trees or shrubs led down to and around the lakes at the edge of the parkland. Over the years the main path has developed into ‘Rhododendron Walk’, planted with material collected by previous owners and Parks Directors; the collection although not named, includes cultivars obtained from Parceval Hall, North Yorkshire, during the period it was occupied by Sir William Milner (a renowned Rhodophile). Azalea beds provide a contrasting splash of colour to the right backed by choice specimen trees planted across the lawns.

The three Lakes, more correctly known as Menagerie Ponds each have a different feel to them, the lower lake is simply set in parkland; the middle lake which is the largest of the three is bordered by beds of damp loving perennials including candelabra primula, hostas, ligularia, yellow flag and more to provide colour and texture throughout the year. Cross the bridge and bear left to find the grass and bamboo garden bordering the small top lake, the path then rises towards the Walled Garden.

Click to expandThe Walled Garden

This garden is now home to five of the eleven National Collections held by Leeds City Council, 800 yards of magnificent Herbaceous Borders, rose beds and herbs set within the beautifully aged 18th century brick walls.

The collections of Delphinium, hardy Korean Chrysanthemums, Phlox and Aster are displayed within the borders. The more tender Spray, Charm and Cascade Chrysanthemum collections provide a great blaze of autumn colour in the conservatory, following the stunning Solenostemon display. Earlier in the season spring bulbs, cineraria and Genista give way to foxgloves and cornflowers providing a changing palette against the permanent planting of temperate plants and what must one of the few remaining displays of zonal pelargoniums, trained to cover the full height of the wall, some 10 - 12 feet.

Until 1922 all the fruit and vegetables for the landowner were grown here, after the park was bought by the Council it was a short-lived zoo and then re-landscaped as a rose garden. Last year for the first time in almost 100 years vegetable growing was reintroduced, managed by staff, trainees and volunteers. This tasty homegrown produce will be used in the Temple Newsam Courtyard Tea Room and any surplus will be for sale in Mrs Pawson’s Shop in the Courtyard.

Click to expandAround the House

The landscaping of Capability Brown removed the original formal gardens leaving open views to each aspect of the House. The vistas to the north towards Colton and Whitkirk St Mary’s Church and to the east across the park and up the old East Avenue still remain.  The south garden was redesigned in the 1980’s to reflect the formal garden of the 17th century with close-clipped yew, beech and box hedges, trained Laburnum arches and a pleached Hornbeam walk, which now obscure what would have been an open view to the south of Leeds. To the west an open lawn was reinstated during restoration works in 2002 but the Yew hedge planted in the mid-1980s was retained, along with plantings of day lilies creating an enclosed area that is now used for theatre performances or even the occasional wedding.

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