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The following is from the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. For the most up-to-date Register entry, please visit the The National Heritage List for England (NHLE):


The estate was owned by the Dronsfield family in the 14th century and it passed by marriage to the Wentworths in 1407. Bretton Hall is marked on Saxton's 1577 map of Yorkshire when there was a house near the site of the present Hall. The estate passed through marriage to the Beaumont family in 1792, and it continued in their ownership until Wentworth Henry Canning Beaumont, second Viscount Allendale, sold it in 1948. The West Riding County Council purchased part of the estate including the Hall, pleasure grounds and much of the park. Parts of the pleasure grounds and the parkland on the east side of the Hall are in use as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which was established in 1977 and the Hall is in use as a college (1997).

Site timeline

1948: The West Riding County Council purchased part of the estate including the Hall, pleasure grounds and much of the park.

1977: The Yorkshire Sculpture Park was established in 1977.

People associated with this site

Sculptor: Patrick MacDowell (born 12/08/1799 died 09/12/1870)

Head Gardener: Robert Marnock (born 12/03/1800 died 15/11/1889)

Architect: James Moyser, Colonel (born 1688 died 1751)

Designer: Richard Woods (born 1716 died 30/04/1793)


camellia house

Feature created: 1817

Creator: Sir Jeffry Wyatville (born 1766 died 1840)

The camellia house was created in about 1817.


Feature created: 1840

Creator: George Basevi (born 01/04/1794 died 16/10/1845)

The stable block was created in about 1840.


Feature created: 1770 to 1780


There are over 40 sculptures siturated within the park. These include works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Sophie Ryder, Andy Goldsworthy and Elisabeth Frink.