Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

Ackworth School 6927

Pgds 20100223 133637 C678 4 4 123


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.


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.
  • 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
Visitor Access & Directions

Access Contact Details

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


Civil Parish

  • Ackworth


The buildings were originally a foundling hospital, founded around 1757 by Thomas Coram. There were associated kitchen gardens and an orchard. The site was converted for use as a co-educational Quaker school in 1779, founded by Sir John Fothergill. Records exist of planting in the orchards (1790) and kitchen gardens (1891). Although the orchards, home farm and kitchen gardens are now gone, the ornamental grounds retain much of their original layout.

Detailed 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.


  • 18th Century
  • Late 18th Century
Associated People



  • John Edmondson