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Lotherton Hall


Lotherton Hall has gardens of around 3 hectares. The formal gardens are divided into several compartments, each with its own character. Other features include woodland walks, a bird garden and a stable courtyard.


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):

Formal gardens laid out by William Goldring and owner Mrs Laura Gwendolen Dalton Gascoigne probably with advice from Ellen Willmott during the period between 1902 and 1920.



Lotherton Hall is situated c 16km north-east of Leeds, c 3km east of Aberford. The c 3ha site is situated in former parkland in an area which is rural and agricultural in character. The gardens are situated on level ground south and east of Lotherton Hall and the boundary is formed by a stone wall on the west side of the approach drive, which runs from the south end of a stable courtyard and extends southwards to the point at which a ha-ha runs eastwards and then curves around to the north side of the gardens. A fence and a brick kitchen garden wall form the north boundary.


The principal entrance to the site is via a drive leading south from the B1217, Collier Lane, where there is a lodge of 1906. The drive divides, with one branch leading east to the stable block and the other continuing south and then turning eastwards through gate piers and gates, designed in 1906 by William Goldring (1854-1919), to a turning circle in front of the west side of the Hall. A secondary entrance is via a drive which runs south to the stable courtyard from Copley Lane and this was the principal entrance in the medieval period. Other entrances to the site are from farm tracks.


The Hall originated as an C18 villa, probably on or close to the site of an earlier building. It was extended to the east during the 1890s by J Osborne Smith for Col Frederick Trench-Gascoigne and to the south and west in the early C20. The household office area was converted to a reception area and the servants' wing to a ceramics gallery in 1970. A late C12 chapel (listed grade II*) stands c 30m west of the west side of the Hall.


The gardens are situated to the south and west of the Hall. On the west side the drive leads up to the turning circle in front of the Hall through lawns planted with specimen trees and shrubs. Formal gardens are situated on the south and east sides of the Hall. Attached to the south-west corner of the Hall is a rectangular paved area called the Terrace, laid out by William Goldring 1902(3, which is enclosed by stone balustrading between stone piers which support urns. Shaped beds are set into the paving. On the east side of this area stone steps lead down to formal gardens designed by Mrs Laura Gascoigne probably with advice from her friend Ellen Willmott (1858(1934). A gravel circle with central circular bed and fountain is linked by a path running east to a rectangular gravelled area bordered by yew hedges and containing shaped beds. The path is lined with clipped yew bushes. This continues eastwards and is bordered by clipped yew hedges which shelter a herbaceous border on each side, and terminates with a summerhouse formed from a pre-1903 entrance to the Hall, which stands c 100m south-east of the Hall. Running parallel to this main axis, and linked to it by paths leading south from the gravel circle and square, are two more east/west gravel paths running between lawns with clipped yews. An aerial photograph of c 1950 (LAC 1989) shows this part of the garden much as it appears now, and a watercolour of c 1900 (guidebook 1992) shows that it replaced a garden with rectangular beds planted with flowers and shrubs.

At the south-east end of the garden, c 100m from the Hall, paths lead east to a shrubbery with winding paths in an area shown as a shrubbery on the 1893 OS map. At the south-east corner of this area there is a rock garden called the Dell which has a system of curving paths leading through rockwork; this includes the remains of a water feature and is planted with shrubs. This garden, which originally included a fernery and Japanese garden, is shown on a plan dated October 1906 which is signed by the Gascoignes' agent, T H Prater. It was built in two stages the first probably not until 1912 and the second c 1924 when the water system was installed and rebuilt with limestone rocks (LAC 1989).

To the north and immediately east of the Hall is an enclosed area divided from the gardens to the south by a clipped yew hedge. The north side is formed by the brick walls of a former kitchen garden which are curved in a D shape, with a central recess. This was the site of a heated conservatory, shown on the 1893 OS map, which was replaced by Mrs Gascoigne with a summerhouse, which was itself demolished in the 1950s. A stone seat is situated against the wall at its central point and a path runs around a D-shaped flower bed.

A gate in the east side of this area leads to a garden called the William and Mary Garden which consists of a paved rectangle with a central sunken rectangular pond surrounded by low box hedges. The garden is divided into compartments by low box hedges and contains beds and spiral-cut box topiary. The west and north sides of the area are formed by a continuation of the brick kitchen garden wall. On the east side a low stone wall has a central gate leading to a late C20 lime avenue which is aligned with a stone garden temple situated c 100m east of the Hall. The temple was originally a portico from Parlington Hall, a former Gascoigne family home. The east side of this garden is enclosed by the mature trees and reinstated coppice of Captain Wood which is a strip of woodland running north along the line of the ha-ha. North of this area and divided from it by a late C20 hedge there is a grassed area with clipped yew bushes around a central circular bed. Hedges form the boundary of this enclosure on the north and east side and the restored brick kitchen garden wall forms the west side.

There is an area of grassland between the formal garden south of the Hall and the ha-ha. This was designed by Mrs Gascoigne as an informal layout and planted with bulbs. It has been allowed to revert (1990s) to a wildflower meadow and is bounded on the west side by a flagged path which runs south from the main drive and is lined with trees. West of this are lawns planted with shrubs and specimen trees, dating largely from the late C20. The path runs to a gate at the southernmost corner of the site from which point it continues as a footpath.


Extensive kitchen gardens were situated immediately north and north-east of the Hall and laid out after 1906. The garden and the glasshouses within it were largely demolished in the 1960s. The area is now an aviary and is outside the registered area.


N Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire The West Riding (1967), p 356

K Lemmon, The Gardens of Britain 5, (1978), pp 180-3

Leeds Arts Calendar (LAC), no 104 (1989), pp 2-24

Lotherton Hall, guidebook, (Leeds City Art Galleries 1992)


Tithe map, 1840 [reproduced in LAC 1989]

OS 25" to 1 mile: 1st edition published 1893 [in LAC 1989]; 2nd edition published 1908

Archival items [reproduced in LAC 1989]

Lotherton Hall Drain Plan, 1896

W Goldring, Lotherton Hall Elevations of Wing Walls, 1906

T H Prater, Plan of the Rock Garden, 1906

Description written: February 1998

Amended: March 1999

Edited: November 1999

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

There are variable opening hours. For details please see:


Leeds City Council

Calverley Street, Leeds,, LS1 1UR

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):


There are records of a hall at Lotherton in 1086, and records of a village on the site date from 1356. The Tithe map of 1840 shows that it had disappeared by that time. John Gascoigne of Lasingcroft bought Lotherton in 1540 but little is known of the history of the site from that time until the early C19 when it was owned by Lamplugh Raper who sold it to Richard Gascoigne of Parlington, a neighbouring estate, in 1825. The Hall and grounds passed to Gascoigne's daughter Elizabeth who in 1893 passed them to her nephew Colonel Frederick R T T Gascoigne and his wife Laura Gwendolen, who created the formal gardens. Their son Alvary, later Sir Alvary Gascoigne, presented the Hall and grounds to the City of Leeds in 1968 with an endowment for buying works of art to add to the existing collection. Since that time the Hall has been used as a museum and art gallery and it remains (1997) in the ownership of Leeds City Council.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • The National Heritage List for England: Register of Parks and Gardens

  • Reference: GD2230
  • Grade: II


  • House (featured building)
  • Description: The existing house was extended and re-modelled from 1893.
  • Latest Date:
  • Stable
  • Yard
  • Description: The stable courtyard
  • Terrace
  • Path
  • Description: Gravel paths
  • Hedge
  • Description: Yew hedge
  • Planting
  • Description: William and Mary garden laid out in the 17th century Dutch style.
  • Walk
  • Description: Captain Wood Walk
  • Walk
  • Description: Cornhill Wood Walk
  • Planting
  • Description: The bird garden has over 200 species of bird.
Key Information





Principal Building

Heritage Site





Open to the public


Civil Parish

Lotherton cum