Plenty of reasons to visit Lotherton Hall in the spring

Caption: There is a lot to see at Lotherton Hall this spring.

The beautiful surroundings of a historic Leeds country house are proving to be a big hit once again with visitors in the spring.

Situated near Aberford, the grounds of Lotherton Hall are a haven for a wide range of wildlife, which also feature attractions including two play areas, a deer park, bird garden, shops and stables, a gift shop and café.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the orchard at Lotherton, which home to over 200 trees produces over 100 varieties of traditional English apples. Many of the apple trees in the estate, which was once the home of the Gascoigne family, were originally bred in Yorkshire such as the Ribston Pippin, which has the highest vitamin C content of any apple and is the parent of the famous Cox’s apple. These are joined by a host of other trees including the Bloody Ploughman, which was given its name due to its apples being bright red to the middle.

With its springtime blossom of scented pink and white, and wild violets which have now begun to appear beneath, a trip to the orchard or a walk in the grounds of the estate is always a quiet and relaxing experience.

Once visitors have enjoyed the outside delights of Lotherton Hall, the inside of the house also has much to offer, with a range of rare items and collections available to view, including a portrait of Donna Maria Beatrice Olga Alberta Caracciolo, Baroness de Meyer (1871-1931), who was known as ‘Outrageous Olga’ on account of her flamboyant and unconventional lifestyle. Born in Britain of mixed French and Italian parentage, Olga became a socialite, patron of the arts, novelist and figure of fashion. Many artists painted her, including the Scotsman William Ranken.

A new interactive area allows visitors to explore the story of the Gascoigne family’s travels around the world from the 1700s onwards. This is ideal for families and is a welcome complement to the Dressing-Up Room and the tactile interpretation cabinets throughout the house.

The new Fashion Galleries are due to open in March 2015, as the hall becomes the home of the Leeds Dress and Textiles collection located in the existing exhibition galleries. The redevelopment will create an up to date 21st century gallery space; with modern cases, improved lighting and the chance to utilise technology, which will allow opportunities to include new elements like film and sound in the galleries.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure & skills said:

"A trip to Lotherton Hall estate in the spring is always a lovely and relaxing experience, and this year there is even more for visitors to enjoy.

"The orchard and variety of wildlife on offer at the estate really is fantastic, and I am delighted to say that there is also plenty to see inside the historic house, which includes a wide range of rare items, collections and the chance to play new interactive games."

Notes to editors:

Lotherton Hall:

Lotherton Hall Estate is a charming Edwardian house and country estate. A single entrance price allows access to the house, with its wonderful collections of fine and decorative arts and a dedicated fashion gallery, and extensive grounds with an abundance of activities to keep everyone busy. Lotherton Hall has undergone numerous changes over the last few years since becoming one whole visitor attraction. With this new and larger audience the house has adapted by improving access and introducing a new range of family-friendly facilities Other recent improvements have seen the re-opening of the Servants’ Rooms on the ground floor following a major restoration last year.

Lotherton Hall has been displaying fashion since its early days of being a museum in 1968, showing fine examples of both historic and more contemporary fashions.

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB

Tel: 0113 378 2959

Email: lotherton.hall@leeds.gov.uk

Web address: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall

See our member’s page for year round entry: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonmembers

Summer opening times (March to October) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 17:00 with last entry at 16:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 20:00.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk