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.