This is part three of a three-part series chronicling a long weekend in Yorkshire. To see part 1, click here, and to see part 2, click here.
The third day of this short weekend break was, sadly, the last day. We left our little cottage in Settle and headed south from the beautiful dales with one last stop before heading for home.
When we’ve been away, we’ll often try to visit a National Trust or English Heritage property on the way home to break the journey up. This time, we were heading to Brodsworth Hall, a Victorian country house in South Yorkshire that has remained largely unchanged since the 1860s. It’s surrounded by some beautiful formal gardens, and we arrived before the house was open – so that’s where we headed first.
We’ve visited quite a few historic properties around the country over the last few years, and it’s always interesting seeing the differences in architecture and tastes of gardening and landscaping. The Victorian taste in statues was quite striking, with a wide variety of figures present. I was drawn to how the light highlighted the mask in this scene.
As we walked around the gardens, we arrived at the beautiful and peaceful rose gardens, with this stunning grapevine pergola running through it. It was the end of the summer, so many of the roses had gone over for the year, but there were still plenty of other flowers in bloom.
In one corner of the garden was a shelter, used as a summerhouse and apparently a base for archery practice (as it overlooked a long avenue). On this day, the light streaming through the windows softly illuminated these flowers and the worn tabletop.
In another corner of the garden, raised up above the rockery, is a summerhouse that resembles a Grecian temple. It’s a really nicely proportioned building, with pleasant views over the garden – and a nice place to stop for a rest. Isn’t Jo lovely?
Our time in the gardens came to an end as the house opened and we ventured inside to see how the Victorians did interior design. The jugs are not to my taste, but the calendar clock looks fun!
It’s very hard to capture in a still photograph, but this chandelier gleamed.
After World War 1, increasing costs and reduced income forced the family to steadily close up rooms to try and save money. Several of them still house collections of random objects, put there for storage and never retrieved. This room contained these garden toys, books, various taxidermy animals and several sleds.
A dusty mirror is a perfect opportunity for a moodily lit selfie.
I really liked the reflection of the design on this lampshade. This was in the upstairs hallway, a large space by all accounts. English Heritage keep the shutters closed to preserve fabrics and valuable artifacts, and it lends the whole place a subdued atmosphere.
Another mirror, another reflection – this time of some old bedroom furniture, in another room that had been shut up by the family when it was no longer required.
Downstairs again, we came to the huge kitchen, with a vast array of tools, implements and utensils. In the background is a huge cast iron range…
…which dominates the space, and exhibited that wonderful Victorian sense of utility meets beautiful design. Those guys knew how to do ornate cast ironwork.
Before long, our time at Brodsworth came to an end as we had to head for home, but not before a cup of tea and some cake. I’m sure it won’t surprise you to read that – it’s a bit of a theme that my adventures seem to be punctuated by the consumption of tea!
This is the final part in this three-part series. You can find part one here, and part two here.