The fascinating history of Temple Newsam House will be revealed during a series of special behind-the-scenes tours and talks this winter.
The programme is being announced as the house prepares to move to new seasonal opening hours from November 3 until February 12, and will feature regular tours as well as a series of one-off events.
During the low season, the house will remain open for pre-booked groups, school visits and on special event days, but visitors will need to ring ahead and organise a visit.
Regular events on offer will include a one hour guided discovery tour every Saturday and Sunday at 11am and through the week by appointment, focussing on the house and its history.
A Twilight Tour will also take place every Saturday and Sunday from 3pm and will look at how servants managed their days in the house, exploring the cellars and secret passageways they used. The tour will also be available through the week by appointment.
Normal house admission charges apply for both these events.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Like many stately homes, seasonal opening hours will allow staff to carry out essential preservation and maintenance work at the house during a period when we traditionally welcome fewer visitors.
“During that time, the house will still be offering a fascinating programme of tours and events that will really give an insight into what life has been like for those living and working there over the past 500 years. The only change will be that visitors will need to call and let us know they’re coming.
“Temple Newsam House is one of Leeds’s most iconic and beautiful attractions and I’m sure people will enjoy these fantastic winter events.”
The winter programme will also include the house’s popular Christmas events, with the opportunity for visitors aged 10 and above to help make the garlands to decorate the house with on December 10 from 10.30am until 3.30pm (mince pies and tea available for all helpers) and a festive carol concert with the Fairburn Singers on Friday, December 11 from 7.30pm-10pm.
Garland makers just need to turn up, while tickets for the carol concert are priced at £10 and are available from Terry Rowley, concert secretary at The Fairburn Singers on 01977 679221 or 07821 603221.
The now annual celebration of 500 Years of Christmas at Temple Newsam takes place on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13 from 10.30am-4pm when visitors to the house and farm will step back in time and get festive via the house’s magnificent decorations, a Tudor banquet display, carol karaoke, music from Jane Austen’s time, storytellers, traditional crafts and the 1940s farm, as well as take a winter wonderland journey to meet Father Christmas. Tickets may be purchased in advance including a time slot to meet Father Christmas to avoid the queues.
Tickets are valid across the house and farm and are priced at £7.20 for adults, £3.90 for children and £16.50 for a family ticket, with LeedsCard discounts available.
A 500 Years of Christmas Tour is also on offer Tuesday, December 15 until Thursday, December 24 from 11am -12pm which takes a closer look at how Christmas was celebrated at Temple Newsam over time.
Usual house admission charges apply.
Younger visitors will also have the chance to meet Father Christmas as part of a special Christmas weekend on December 12 and 13 from 11.30am-3.30pm and Tuesday December 15 to Saturday December 19 from 1.30pm until 4pm. Tickets cost £3.
For more details about bookings and special offers for groups, contact the House on 0113 336 7460 to arrange a time to visit.
For more details about the House visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsam
New opening times at Temple Newsam House:
Tuesday 3 November 2015 – Friday 12 February 2016
The house: Pre-booked visits and tours
Saturday 13 February 2016 – Sunday 30 October 2016
The house: Tues to Sun 10:30 to 17:00
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937