Tuesday 22 March 2011

Lotherton Hall And Doggy Ghosts

Lotherton Hall is an Edwardian country house which once belonged to the Gascoigne family. We're about ten minutes away by car so it's right on our doorstep and a lovely place to while away a couple of hours, which is what we did on Saturday.

The Gascoignes purchased the estate in 1825 and built the eastern extension in 1896. In 1903 the Georgian wing was demolished and a new western extension was built. In 1968, the Lotherton Estate was gifted to the people of Leeds.

There was once a medieval village on the site of Lotherton. A chapel was built in the twelth century which is still there today, and a Sunday service is held there once a month.
The formal gardens surround the house on three sides and were created by Mrs. Laura Gwendolen Gascoigne. She divided the gardens in to several parts, each with it's own character. Here you will find this lovely little summerhouse, isn't it cute?
In the formal gardens there is a statue of Sho-Haku, the Pilgrim Priest. The plaque tells of how he travelled from town to town reading the Scriptures. He was also known as the Peony Priest because of his love for the cultivation of Peony flowers.

In the 1970s, a deer park was created. You can often see the red deer and on Saturday we were lucky. When we walked by later in the day they had gone.

There's also a bird garden with many rare species, though we couldn't go in on Saturday as we had Archie with us. It is the home to the world's largest land based flying bird, the Andean Condor, as well as owls, parrots and flamingoes to name just a few.
In the formal gardens we came across a pet cemetery. There are nine gravestones, and a tenth by a nearby tree, to commemorate dogs which belonged to Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne, the last private owners of Lotherton Hall. Lady Gascoigne was a passionate dog lover and took her dogs with her when she travelled the world with Sir Alvary when he went away on business. Some of the dogs came from the countries where Sir Alvary and Lady Gascoigne lived.

Michael was a black Standard Poodle and was born in Moscow. He is said to haunt Lotherton Hall and the scratch marks made on a door on the landing are said to have been made by his claws.

There are walks of various distances around the grounds including the Captain Wood Walk, which is suitable for prams and pushchairs, and the Boundary Trail, which has views of the countryside. The latter is the walk which we took on Saturday and Archie loved it. On our walk we came across a modern stone circle which has been created by The Countryside Rangers. It is called Geometry in the Landscape, and the stones follow sacred mathematical formulae.

Car parking is £3.70, however, you can buy an annual ticket for £15 which we have decided to do. We'll definitely get our moneys worth as it's close enough to pop Archie in the car and take him for a walk on an evening once the clocks go forward, and it's a lovely place for a picnic on a weekend too.

There's a great playground for kids, our's used to love it. Daniel's much too old for playgrounds now, but Eleanor will still have a go when no one's looking, as will I.


  1. Sounds a lovely place to visit.

  2. Hi Jo! Thanks so much for visiting me and leaving a lovely comment. Although I live in the LS poatcode, I have never been to Lotherton!!! Must do it. Love your blog x

  3. I love it at Lotherton Hall. It's a great trip out. :)

  4. I love visiting stately homes and gardens. It's something that we do so well in this country.

    I must google the Pilgrim Priest aka Peony Priest! They say you can learn something new every day and I certainly have today, as I'm not familiar with his story at all!


    Sorry to hear your sad news. My aunt suffered with Alzheimer's for many years before she passed away.

  5. Hi Jo, thank you so much for popping over and taking a look at my blog. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Hope to see you again sometime.

    Lotherton Hall looks a fascinating place and a great day out too. I love the summer house, isn't it cute. It would be a place I'd get away from the world in.

    I love your pink socks, definitely not too pink for me, I love pink.

    Hope to see you again.


  6. What an interesting looking place, with the added attraction of a bird garden!
    I've not been there but will keep it in mind for if I'm ever that way!
    Flighty xx

  7. Jo, thank you for visiting my blog and for your nice comment. I was glad to discover your blog. There is history in Europe that cannot be found here in the states... beautiful places.

  8. We like Lotherton Hall, been a few times. The pet cemetary is sweet. A nice cheap dayout.


  9. It certainly looks like a lovely place to visit!

    Victoria xx

  10. Thanks for your comments, everyone, and thank you to my new visitors too.

    Andrea - Your son would love the playground and bird garden at Lotherton Hall, definitely go if you get chance.

    Jeanne - I had to google the Pilgrim Priest too, his story is interesting.

    Flighty - The admission for the bird garden is free, there aren't many places that you can say that about.

  11. Weve never been to Lotherton Hall - we'll have to make an effort and visit as it looks great. Thanks for showing me xx

  12. You're welcome, Diane. There's plenty to keep you interested, house, gardens, bird garden, walks, cafe, and don't forget the playground complete with zip wire!

  13. On my visit to Lotherton Hall a couple of years ago I was walking along a path...I think near the bird walk... I heard behind me what sounded like a dog running up to me. I could hear it's footsteps. It stopped and I could hear it panting... I turned round expecting to see a dog right behind me and there was nothing there... the nearest dog was some distance away... the person with me said there was a grave of a dog right where we were, I didn't look at it though

    1. How spooky. Perhaps it was the doggy ghost of Michael. We visit Lotherton regularly but we've never had any experience like that.