Temple Newsam

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File:Temple Newsam, Morris edited.jpg
Temple Newsam House from Morris's Country Seats (1880).

Temple Newsam (historically Temple Newsham, in legend Templestowe) (grid reference SE357322) is a Tudor-Jacobean house with grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. The estate lies to the east of the city, just south of Halton Moor, Halton, Whitkirk and Colton.

Temple Newsam is also the name of an electoral ward for Leeds City Council, which includes the areas of Halton Moor, Halton, Whitkirk, Colton and Austhorpe.


In the Domesday Book the property is known as Neuhusam and was owned by Ilbert de Lacy. Before that it had been owned by Dunstan and Glunier, Anglo-Saxon thanes. Around 1155 it was given to the Knights Templar. In 1307 the Templars were suppressed and in 1377 by royal decree the estate reverted to Sir Philip Darcy. Between 1500 and 1520 a Tudor country house, Temple Newsam House, was built on the site.[1] It has been described by some as "the Hampton Court of the North".[2] It has also been spelled "Newsham" in the past.[3]

In 1537 Darcy was executed for the part he played in the Pilgrimage of Grace and the property was seized by the Crown. In 1544 Henry VIII gave it to his niece Margaret, Countess of Lennox and her husband Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox. Their son Henry, Lord Darnley was born in the house in 1545. Darnley married Mary, Queen of Scots, and Temple Newsam was again seized by the Crown in 1565. In 1603 James I granted it to his relative Ludovic, Duke of Lennox. In 1622 the estate was bought by Sir Arthur Ingram for £12,000. During the next 20 years the mansion was rebuilt, incorporating some of the previous house in the west wing.[1]

In 1661 Sir Arthur's grandson Henry Ingram was created Viscount of Irvine and he married Lady Essex Montagu, the daughter of the Earl of Manchester. Between 1736 and 1746 Henry, 7th Viscount of Irvine, remodelled the west and north wings of the house, creating new bedrooms and dressing rooms and the picture gallery.

In the 1760s Charles, 9th Viscount, employed Capability Brown to re-landscape the park. The work was continued by his widow Frances, née Shepheard, who rebuilt the south wing, and lived at Temple Newsam until her death in 1807. Their eldest daughter Isabella, Marchioness of Hertford was for a time mistress of the Prince of Wales (later George IV), and in 1806 he visited Temple Newsam and presented her with Chinese wallpaper and the Moses tapestries. Lady Hertford inherited the house in 1807.

In 1841 the estate was inherited by Hugo Francis Meynell Ingram. Following his death in 1871 his wife inherited the estate and considerably developed it until her own death in 1904 when it was left to her nephew Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax.[1]

In 1909 610 acres (2.5 km2) of the estate were compulsorily purchased by Leeds Corporation at Knostrop to build a sewage plant and coal mining commenced at the edge of the park. In 1922 Edward Wood sold the park and house to Leeds Corporation for a nominal sum, placing covenants over them to ensure their preservation for the future.[4]

House and estate today

File:Temple Newsam 02.jpg
Temple Newsam House

The house and estate are owned by Leeds City Council and open to the public. The estate is made up of large woodland, (the second largest part of the Forest of Leeds)[2] many areas of which join onto the surrounding estates of Leeds. There are facilities for sports including football, golf, running, cycling, horse-riding and orienteering. There is also a children's play park. The local football team, Colton Juniors, play on the football pitches surrounding the house.

The house has recently undergone substantial restoration to its exterior. There is an established programme of restoring rooms back to known previous configurations, reversing the numerous intrusive installations and modifications that took place during the building's "art museum" phase. There are substantial holdings of fine and decorative art which are Designated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as being of national significance. Temple Newsam House is one of Leeds Museums and Galleries sites, and has an international reputation for scholarship and research, unusual in a local authority museum service. Mark Fisher's (a former DCMS minister) book "Britain's Best Museums and Galleries" gives this museum an excellent review. When interviewed on Front Row, Radio 4, November 2004 Mr. Fisher placed Temple Newsam House in the top three non-national museums in the country, along with Birmingham's Barber Institute and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. [1]

The Home Farm, open to the public, has a barn built in 1694 and is the largest working rare breeds farm in Europe, and only one of 16 nationally approved by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Breeds include Gloucester, Kerry, Irish Moiled, Red Poll, White Park, British White, Beef Shorthorn, Vaynol and Belted Galloway cattle; Kerry Hill, Whitefaced Woodland and Portland sheep, and Golden Guernsey goats. The farm has been targeted by arsonists in the late 2000s with damage caused to a stable. Some animals were injured but the majority were saved.

There are extensive gardens, with a celebrated rhododendron walk and six national plant collections: Aster novi-belgii (Michaelmas daisies), Phlox paniculata, Delphinium elatum (Cultivars), Solenostemon scutellarioides (sys. Coleus blumei), Primula auricula and Chrysanthemum (Charm and Cascade cultivars).[5]

The house is a Grade I listed building, defined as a "building of outstanding or national architectural or historic interest". The stables are Grade II* listed ("particularly significant buildings of more than local interest"), and ten separate features of the estate are Grade II listed ("buildings of special architectural or historic interest"), including the Sphinx Gates and the Barn.


Party in the Park and Opera in the Park are annual ticketed concerts organised by Leeds City Council and Radio Aire, which respectively have accommodated 70,000 and 50,000 spectators.[6] Both have been held in July on the site since 1994.[7] They take place on the grassed area which slopes down at the front of the house.

An amphitheatre near the stables block is used for occasional open-air theatre performances, and the fields to the north of the Home Farm are used for various events such as Steam Fairs and Dog Shows.

In August 1997 and 1998 the estate was the site of the V Festival but, after the success of the event, this was replaced by a new northern leg of the Reading and Leeds Festivals from 1999, taking place the weekend after the regular V festival slot in August. The Leeds Festival however moved to Bramham Park after the 2002 event when the festival was marred by riots and violence in the festival grounds, and trouble in the surrounding estates of east Leeds.[8]

Many other events take place at Temple Newsam, such as the Leeds Waggy Walk event for Dogs Trust[9] and Race for Life for Cancer Research UK.[10] As of early 2013, there has also been a weekly Parkrun event.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Temple Newsam: House Guide. Leeds City Council.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Leeds City Council. "Forest of Leeds: Temple Newsam Woodlands". Retrieved 28 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Whitkirk: Geographical and Historical information from the year 1868". GENUKI. Retrieved 28 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868
  4. Temple Newsam: Country House Estate Trail. (2007) Leeds City Council.
  5. "The National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens". Retrieved 20 September 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. BBC - Leeds (18 July 2006). "Party in the Park 2006". Retrieved 11 May 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. tilllate.com (15 July 2007). "Leeds Party in the Park". Retrieved 11 May 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. BBC (26 August 2002). "Festival marred by violence". BBC News. Retrieved 28 October 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Waggywalks
  10. "Leeds (Temple Newsam)". Race for Life. Retrieved 4 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Temple Newsam Parkrun". Parkrun website. Parkrun. Retrieved 10 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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