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Ackworth School

Pgds 20100223 133637 C678 4 4 123

Introduction

Ackworth School, founded in 1779, retains lawns and a Great Garden. Features include exercise grounds laid out between the east and west wings of the school, several mature trees and a swimming pool. The grounds now cover some 81 hectares, though the site was originally much larger.

Terrain

The site slopes southwards to the River Went.
The school now has grounds of around 81 hectares, but the estate was originally much larger including a home farm and chalybeate bath. The garden faces south-south-east and the southern boundary is formed by the River Went. Between the main school buildings are two exercise grounds: originally the eastern half was for boys and the west for girls. The grounds remain, though part of the eastern half is now covered by asphalt. To the south of the exercise grounds is the Great Garden, which also remains extant. This area is shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1854.
Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

As this is a school, access may be restricted or by appointment only. Please contact Ackworth School before visiting.

Directions

http://www.ackworthschool.com/pages/map.php

Owners

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

History

The buildings were originally created as an orphanage or 'foundling hospital', with productive kitchen gardens and an orchard. In 1779, the site became a Quaker school. It was founded by John Fothergill, who, amongst many other things, was a noted horticulturalist and patron of botanical collectors.

The kitchen gardens remained in use into the early-20th century, and notebooks of the produce sold to the school have survived. A planting plan of 1790 details the varieties of apple, pear, plum and cherry planted in the orchard. A list of kitchen garden produce from 1891 is given in the 'historical planting' section of this entry.

Period

  • Late 18th Century
  • 18th Century
Associated People
Features & Designations

Features

  • School (featured building)
  • Description: The buildings were created as a foundling hospital by Thomas Coram in around 1757. The site was bought by John Fothergill, who founded Ackworth School there in 1779.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • River
  • Description: River Went
Key Information

Type

Garden

Purpose

Ornamental Garden

Principal Building

School

Period

Late 18th Century

Survival

Extant

Hectares

81

Open to the public

Yes

Civil Parish

Ackworth

References

References

Contributors

  • John Edmondson