Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in Doncaster had been on our radar for some time now, and last week we decided to take the trip. I can honestly say that the photographs on the website, as well as in our English Heritage handbook, really didn’t do the place justice. Brodsworth Hall and Gardens have certainly made it onto my top 10 English Heritage sites!
A Brief History of Brodsworth Hall and Gardens
The site of Brodsworth hall has been inhabited long before the Victorian house we see today was built. The hall which stands today was built in the 1860s and was home to the Thellusson family and their descendants until the 1980s. In 1990 the hall and gardens were entrusted to the English Heritage who worked tirelessly to restore the then run down Victorian mansion as well as the overgrown gardens. Brodsworth Hall has been open to the public since 1995 and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Built in the mid 19th-century, Brodsworth Hall was designed with all the splendour and pomp of the Victorian era. Those now forgotten elegant parties of a by-gone era can still be sensed as you move through the hall. The entrance to the grand and opulent building takes you on a journey back in time, to a time of grandeur and extravagance.
Exploring each of the downstairs rooms, we were amazed at the way in which English Heritage have ensured that the hall looks as it did when it was once inhabited. Every room oozes Victorian luxury, with the items most synonymous with that era. The drawing room is simply magnificent and contains most of its original features.
Moving down the hall way, perhaps one of the most striking features of the entire hall is the painted window. I had assumed this window was in fact stained glass, however, a friendly volunteer explained that it was rather hand painted. He also pointed out all the intricate features of this exquisite piece of art.
Upstairs, the bedrooms are set out as they once were which really brings Brodsworth Hall to life.
Aurelia was rather fascinated with all the pots and pans in the kitchen. The sheer amount of equipment in this kitchen demonstrates just how lavish and well attended the dinner parties here once were.
As much as I enjoyed exploring the majestic Brodsworth Hall, the highlight of the day for me was undoubtedly Brodsworth gardens. As we arrived, the gardeners were working tirelessly, removing old plants and putting new ones in their place. I would love to return and see the full fruits of their labours!
The gardens were truly magical, taking us on a woodland tour. The archways throughout the grounds were absolutely stunning and provided the perfect backdrop for photographs.
In one of the gardens, the flowers were in full bloom!
We found what almost looked like a secret garden. It is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen. Numerous bridges and archways kept Aurelia occupied for a while as we enjoyed the splendour of the garden.
In true Victorian style, the garden included a grotto. This proved to be the perfect place to rest our weary legs after an extensive walk and to take in the view of the magnificent hall and grounds.
To sum up Brodsworth gardens, I can only say they were immense. I have hundreds of photographs of one of the most impressive gardens I have ever visited.
In true English Heritage style, children’s entertainment is not forgotten. We found an incredible playground, it put our local parks to shame! The area was complete with swings, slide, climbing-frame, ropes and even boats. In fact, this playground had everything needed to keep the little ones entertained. Parents can watch on from one of the many picnic benches in this enclosed area.
After a thorough (although by no means exhaustive) exploration of Brodsworth hall and grounds, we headed to the tea room for some well earned refreshments. The prices were reasonable and there was a wide selection of drinks and snacks to choose from.
We spent approximately 5 hours at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens. If we had more time, we would have stayed much longer. Brodsworth hall is perhaps the best example of a Victorian mansion I have seen. The artefacts within its walls have been painstakingly preserved and offer a unique insight into the workings of a home of a by-gone era. The gardens are simply spectacular and a credit to the gardeners that maintain them. Brodsworth Hall and gardens offer the perfect location for a long family day out.