Thursday, 3 June 2010

Arts for All - Lotherton Hall

Just been over to Lotherton Hall where there is another branch of the Flocking Together Exhibition taking place throughout the Museum Service in Leeds. There's also a very comprehensive exhibition of the works of Sutton Taylor, who used to live at Lotherton Old Hall.

In continuous occupation since the 7th century, Lotherton takes its name from an Anglo-Saxon settler called Hluttor whose farm or 'tun' occupied the site in early times. By 1086 records suggest that a hall or manor house had been built here and, during the Middle Ages, a number of tenants are recorded as having lived on the site, including such well known Yorkshire families as the Nevilles and the de Hothams.

In the 1540s the farmlands surrounding the hall were purchased by John Gascoigne of Lasingcroft to form part of his newly acquired Parlington Estate. The Hall itself did not become the property of the family until 1825 when both house and park were purchased by Richard Oliver Gascoigne. Some attempts were made to re-fashion the existing building at this time but it was not until Richard's grandson, Colonel Frederick Gascoigne, inherited the property in 1893 that the house took on its present form. Together with his wife Gwendolen, Colonel Gascoigne extended and remodelled the house and gardens to create a charming home for his family. After his death in 1937 the estates passed to his son and daughter-in-law, Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, who retired here in 1953 after an active diplomatic career.

In 1968 they presented the Hall to the City of Leeds, together with its park, garden and art collections. These, along with items brought from Temple Newsam House and Leeds City Art Gallery and objects bought specially for the house since it opened as a museum in 1969 are what visitors to the house see today, a lasting testimony to an ancient Yorkshire family and support of the arts by the people of Leeds (I've extracted this from their site).

The embroidery was hand painted and stitched by Anne Cove. I'd forgotten that Anne made a larger, similar hanging for Lotherton Hall and at present it can be seen in the entrance porch.

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