Situated in the heart of Leeds, my hometown, Temple Newsam is one of the most popular places in the area. Temple Newsam looks beautiful from the outside, and it is, but it has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye.
This building is rich in history and is an incredible sight to visit. In this article, I will be doing a complete rundown of Temple Newsam and all the questions you might have about the place. So whenever you plan your visit, you know everything you need to know about the entire location!
Why Visit Temple Newsam?
Temple Newsam is one of the unique buildings in all of England. The Tudor-Jacobean mansion estate has several areas dedicated to different activities and features. Inside and out, and there are tours available. Some are on the inside to guide visitors through the building itself and others on the outside, so visitors can tour the fantastic gardens and take in the incredible views the area has to offer. What’s even better is there’s almost always something going on here. So depending on the time of year you go, you might even get to be a part of even more activities than you initially expected!
Why Visit Temple Newsam?
Temple Newsam is a Tudor-Jacobean mansion estate with several areas dedicated to different activities and features. Inside and out, and there are tours on the grounds. Some are inside to guide visitors through the building itself and others on the outside, so visitors can tour the fantastic gardens and take in the incredible views the area offers. What’s even better is there’s almost always something going on here. So depending on the time of year you go, you might even get to be a part of even more activities than you initially eNewsam’s
Temple Newsam’s History
Even though the building is in excellent condition, the initial construction was a millennium ago. The Doomsday book in 1086 mentions this building, and even the Ancient Anglo Saxon records have a record of the estates existing. So it’s clear that this might be one of the oldest estates in all of history.
In 1190, the Knights Templar was a very famous Christian military order. They were the ones that did the main construction on the manor and also the name, “Temple Newsam.”
Even though the owners were constantly changing several times after that, the name is still the same to honor the history of the place itself.
Lord Darnley, in 1622, sold the estate to Sir Arthur Ingram, who paid £12,000 for it. £12,000 back then is equal to around £1.6 Million today. So it’s clear that Sir Arthur was a wealthy man. Not only did he and his family buy this estate, but lots of others in the area moved in to live near each other!
Sir Arthur started doing most of the remodeling work on the estate. Most of it still stands the same way. However, the estate was passed down several generations, with each generation adding a little something to the estate.
Leeds City Council
The Ingrams were going to keep the estate in the family, but in 1909, the Leeds Corporation bought a section of the estate to mine there. The mining grounds were very close to the main house, so Edward Wood’s owner decided to sell the entire estate in 1922. His only condition was that the house would stay as it was at the time, and it still is today!
Today, Leeds City Council owns Temple Newsam, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Leeds!
Outside Temple Newsam House
One of the unique features of the exterior is the letters that appear on the balustrade. It reads:
“ALL GLORY AND PRAISE BE GIVEN TO GOD THE FATHER THE SON AND HOLY GHOST ON HIGH PEACE ON EARTH GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN HONOUR AND TRUE ALLEGIANCE TO OUR GRACIOUS KING LOVING AFFECTION AMONGST HIS SUBJECTS HEALTH AND” LENTY BE WITHIN THIS HOUSE”
This feature is a religious dedication to the loyalty of Sir Arthur Ingram. This dedication spans the entire H shape of the house’s courtyard overlooking the gardens.
Inside Temple Newsam House
Thomas Lord Darcy designed it, but it went under a significant remodel under the ownership of the Ingrams. The entire estate spans over 1000 acres. There are 42 rooms in the main house, and each of them still looks exactly the way it was when the City Council first bought it. In each room you enter, you’ll see furniture, textiles, paintings, and decor from centuries ago, all in their place! Everything is still exactly as when the original owners left the building. It’s almost like stepping into a time capsule, one that will immediately transport you to the 1920s!
Visitors should take a guided tour. This way, you’ll be able to learn all the little details behind each little piece of history that you see through your visit.
The Estate And Grounds
There is so much more to Temple Newsam than the house. The estate is the second-largest Forest of Leeds.
Home Farm & Great Barn
One of the largest rare breed centers in Europe, Home Farm is a working farm. All animals are native, and most are classed as Rare Breed by the Rare Breed Survival Trust. This designation enables the continuation of some of England’s oldest breeds of farm animals. Expect to see a wide variety of rare breed poultry, cattle, and goats.
The farm also has typical residents such as lambs, piglets, geese, guinea pigs, and you’ll find more. If you go in Spring, you’ll see the newborn lambs wandering about.
Note: Dogs are not permitted in the house and farm, with the exception of assistance dogs.
Gardens Of Temple Newsam
Lancelot Brownback first designed the gardens of Temple Newsam in 1762. You can see different landscaping throughout the gardens, but the walled garden is the main attraction. The fencing is all bushes, and there are beautiful landscapes to see inside it.
This is the part of the estate that was affected by the mining. However, lots of restoration work came later, and today it’s in perfect condition! There is two golf course on the grounds as well. Besides the central walled garden, there’s also the woodland and Italian gardens.
The gardens are extensive, with a celebrated rhododendron walk and six national plant collections. Each of them is incredible to look at, and you might want to dedicate a whole day just for the outside alone.
Park & Lakes
Temple Newsam boasts’ three lakes, also known as ‘Menagerie Ponds.’ The largest is the middle lake bordered by beds of damp-loving perennials. The lower lake is set in parkland. If you cross the bridge, you will find the grass and bamboo garden surrounding the small top lake.
Walking, Riding, And Cycling at Temple Newsam
Given the sheer size of the grounds, there are many miles of formal and informal paths to wander. See the map for a route used by walkers, riders, and cyclists.
The Walled Garden and the Farm Car Park have bicycle stands for you to park your bikes. The Stable Courtyard has bicycle lockers so that you can store your valuables as you explore.
West Yorkshire’s first high ropes experience offers the Treetop Challenge, the Treetop Adventure Plus, and the Treetop Adventure courses.
Courtyard Café And Shops
Almost all estate homes in England have a café and shop. At Temple Newsam, the café is a traditional Tea Room that offers up some British delights. Sample jacket potatoes with a variety of toppings. Try a Ploughman’s lunch, the British version of a charcuterie board. Or, go for afternoon tea and try scones with jam & cream.
Across the cobbled courtyard, the gift shop offers traditional toys and souvenirs.
Mrs.Pawson’s Shop sells locally sourced products from plants to teas, biscuits, beer, and even Yorkshire ice cream.
Another unusual feature is the amphitheater. It’s near the courtyard and is used for occasional open-air theatre performances, fairs, and dog shows.
Golf at Temple Newsam
In 1923, Alister MacKenzie designed the golf course at Temple Newsam. There are two courses for you to tackle, The Lady Dorothy and Lord Irwin. Both are nine-hole courses.
Location Of Temple Newsam
Temple Newsam is located on Temple Newsam Rd, Leeds LS15 0AE, United Kingdom.
The location is easily reachable from Cross Gates train station, as it’s only a 1.9-mile journey from the station.
Map Of Temple Newsam’s Grounds
Christmas At Temple Newsam
The entire estate is set up as a Christmas Wonderland during Christmas time. It’s a very popular time to visit. The fire garden has a flickering flames exhibit which is a must-see. And, the Christmas Lights Walk is always a huge hit.
Filming At Temple Newsam
It should be no surprise that this estate has been used as a film set. Here’s what has been filmed on site:
- Victoria (2016–2019) – The early life of Queen Victoria, from her ascension to the throne at the tender age of eighteen to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2015) – In an alternate history, during real-life Napoleonic Wars, two men of destiny, the gifted recluse Mr. Norrell and daring spellcasting novice Jonathan Strange, use magic to help England.
- Shaandaar (2015) – In the backdrop of a destination wedding in London, two families try to save their respective empires unbeknownst to each other.
Events At Temple Newsam
The estate is host to many events throughout the year. Christmas is by far the most popular of them all.
Some previous events hosted include Party in the Park and Opera in the Park, accommodating up to 70,000 spectators on the area which slopes down at the front of the house. Then there’s the V Festival, Cocoon, the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
It currently hoses the Slam Dunk Festival, the Leeds Waggy Walk event for Dogs Trust, the Race for Life for Cancer Research UK, and Newsam Park replaced Cocoon. There is always an event upcoming. For example, there will be a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea in March.
FAQs About Temple Newsam
Temple Newsam is one of the oldest buildings in England and quite possibly the entire world. It’s a marvel how well the whole estate had stood the test of time and still stands precisely like it did back when it was sold. Whether you’re an avid history fan or want to look at some pretty things in a building or walk around in lush, green gardens, there’s something here for you to see!
Looking For Other Places To Explore In England? Start Here:
- Blackpool – England – 15 Best Things To Do
- Castle Howard – Yorkshires Brideshead Revisited
- Chatsworth House – England
- Harewood House – England
- Harrogate’s Victorian Turkish Baths
- Helmsley, England – A Guide To Seeing It All
- Why Visit Lotherton Hall?
- Yorkshire Lavender Farms
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